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Title: Diagnostic indicators for integrated assessment models of climate policy

Integrated assessments of how climate policy interacts with energy-economic systems can be performed by a variety of models with different functional structures. This article proposes a diagnostic scheme that can be applied to a wide range of integrated assessment models to classify differences among models based on their carbon price responses. Model diagnostics can uncover patterns and provide insights into why, under a given scenario, certain types of models behave in observed ways. Such insights are informative since model behavior can have a significant impact on projections of climate change mitigation costs and other policy-relevant information. The authors propose diagnostic indicators to characterize model responses to carbon price signals and test these in a diagnostic study with 11 global models. Indicators describe the magnitude of emission abatement and the associated costs relative to a harmonized baseline, the relative changes in carbon intensity and energy intensity and the extent of transformation in the energy system. This study shows a correlation among indicators suggesting that models can be classified into groups based on common patterns of behavior in response to carbon pricing. Such a classification can help to more easily explain variations among policy-relevant model results.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 90(A):45-61
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Climate policy; Integrated assessment models; Energy system models; Model diagnostics; Climate change economics