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Next generation of AdVanced InteGrated Assessment modelling to support climaTE policy making

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NAVIGATE (Next generation of AdVanced InteGrated Assessment modelling to support climaTE policy making)

Période du rapport: 2019-09-01 au 2021-02-28

Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) play a central role for the assessment of mitigation pathways by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and are frequently used to inform international climate policy considerations. They are also used to analyse regional decarbonisation strategies, e.g. in the EU. However, IAMs have to be improved and made more accessible to users in order to provide more targeted advice for the climate policy process in a post-Paris world. This process is characterized by nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and mid-century strategies that aim to collectively reach a global climate goal and at the same time support a sustainable development agenda. To this end, IAMs need to better cover drivers of transformative change and newly emerging mitigation options in order to give a more grounded and detailed picture about pathways to carbon neutrality, including their speed, bottlenecks and flexibilities, as well as their interplay with development processes. IAMs also need to improve how they capture distributional impacts of climate policies and climate change impacts in order to articulate more clearly the benefit of climate action and its role for sustainable development. Finally, IAMs need to offer greater transparency and accessibility to help build trust and improve the uptake of results by users, not only in the climate policy community, but also by private sector and civil society organisations. Only then can IAMs effectively leverage their integrated systems perspective, cutting across sectors, geographies and time horizons, to support the design of EU climate policies and strategies as well as the EU’s climate diplomacy efforts.
NAVIGATE aims to develop the Next generation of AdVanced InteGrated Assessment modelling. In particular, NAVIGATE will:

• improve the representation of transformative processes in interlinked social, technological and economic systems by better capturing structural and technological change and by connecting IAMs to socio-technical transitions.
• develop capability to understand and represent what drives lifestyle change and how it connects changes in demand for different goods and services. This is needed to adequately capture the transformative role of consumer-driven change for mitigating climate change.
• improve the modelling of individual sector transformations in energy, industry, transport, buildings, and agriculture. This will deepen the link between integrated models and more detailed sector models.
• develop a new capability to capture spatial and social heterogeneity which is critical for assessing distributional implications of climate change impacts and climate action, and how these relate to human and societal development goals.
• deepen the integrated assessment of mitigation pathways in terms of costs, benefits due to avoided impacts, and co-benefits due to interaction with other sustainable development goals.
• improve transparency, legitimacy and usability of IAM results for users such as policy makers, businesses, civil society organizations, as well as experts from related disciplines interested in using IAM results for climate policy analysis.
During the first 18 months of the project, the partners made significant progress towards the objectives by
• collecting data and developing relevant domain knowledge for later adoption in integrated assessment modelling approaches, e.g. including the development of structural change scenarios, a survey of the socio-technical transitions literature, modelling of material flows in the industry sector, a conceptualization and empirical analysis of lifestyle changes, data on income inequality and how it is impacted by climate policy and projections of selected biophysical climate impacts;
• improving IAM frameworks in key areas incl. structural and technological change – individual modelling teams have improved the representation of electrification in the industry sector, abatement options of non-CO2 GHGs and peatlands in the land use sector, electrification, modal shift, and international bunkers in the transport sector and energy efficiency in the buildings sector
• deepening the understanding of spatial heterogeneity by providing a conceptual framework for increasing IAM spatial resolution and country downscaling, as well as social heterogeneity by integrating inequality and economic, distributional, and physical climate impacts;
• taking stock of the state of the art on IAMs, including the publication of 18 peer-reviewed papers for the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC. Key papers that are already accepted or on track to meet the acceptance deadline in July 2021 include a paper taking stock of capabilities and gaps in IAMs, papers analysing sources of uncertainty in scenarios, papers focusing on the improved representation of different sectors, inequality and climate impacts in different models, papers on carbon pricing, as well as a paper on a new diagnostic model comparison of IAMs key behaviour in response to climate policy;
• enhancing the transparency of IA modelling, including a stakeholder dialogue on model transparency, capacity building via six webinars on recent IAM developments, the update and inclusion of all NAVIGATE model documentations in the IAMC wiki where it is openly available, and the implementation of a NAVIGATE scenario database for visualization and retrieval of scenario data;
• analysing impacts of COVID-19: Advancements in the models enabled the teams to project macro- economic impacts of COVID-19 and green recovery packages as well as distributional and inequality impacts. In addition, a methodological framework was developed to also take account of impacts of COVID-19 on energy demand. The main findings were summarised in a policy brief. The research teams provided input in different exchange formats with the EC and UNFCCC.
The work during the first phase of the project successfully put in place the basis for the next phase of integrating and comparing new approaches in IA modelling.
NAVIGATE will synthesize its advances towards the next generation of IAMs in two final products. First, a synthesis report for policy makers and other users will collect newly-gained policy insights. Second, the IAM NAVIGATOR will be a toolbox for accessing tools developed, results generated, and capacity building material developed during the course of the project. The objective of the IAM NAVIGATOR is to foster uptake of IAM advances and new policy insights by users, experts in related fields, and the IAM community itself.
With these expected outputs, NAVIGATE aims to support EU climate policy, provide input to major scientific assessments such as the IPCC reports, enhance international cooperation, foster innovative policy-making through robust methodologies and tools and reduction of uncertainties and improve the legitimacy of models, methods and tools through greater transparency. With the work performed during the first 18 months of the project, the partners already contributed to create these results and impacts.
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