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A Review of Criticisms of Integrated Assessment Models and Proposed Approaches to Address These, through the Lens of BECCS

Gambhir, A; Butnar, I; Li, PH; Smith, P; Strachan, N; (2019) A Review of Criticisms of Integrated Assessment Models and Proposed Approaches to Address These, through the Lens of BECCS. Energies , 12 (9) , Article 1747. 10.3390/en12091747. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper reviews the many criticisms that Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs)—the bedrock of mitigation analysis—have received in recent years. Critics have asserted that there is a lack of transparency around model structures and input assumptions, a lack of credibility in those input assumptions that are made visible, an over-reliance on particular technologies and an inadequate representation of real-world policies and processes such as innovation and behaviour change. The paper then reviews the proposals and actions that follow from these criticisms, which fall into three broad categories: scrap the models and use other techniques to set out low-carbon futures; transform them by improving their representation of real-world processes and their transparency; and supplement them with other models and approaches. The article considers the implications of each proposal, through the particular lens of how it would explore the role of a key low-carbon technology—bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), to produce net negative emissions. The paper concludes that IAMs remain critically important in mitigation pathways analysis, because they can encompass a large number of technologies and policies in a consistent framework, but that they should increasingly be supplemented with other models and analytical approaches.

Type: Article
Title: A Review of Criticisms of Integrated Assessment Models and Proposed Approaches to Address These, through the Lens of BECCS
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/en12091747
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091747
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: integrated assessment models; IAMs; climate change mitigation; BECCS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10075257
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