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Plausible policy pathways to Paris

Funder: UK Research and InnovationProject code: NE/P015093/1
Funded under: NERC Funder Contribution: 112,753 GBP
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Plausible policy pathways to Paris

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The Paris agreement commits nations to pursuing efforts to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. This represents a level of transformation of the socio-economic and energy systems that substantially exceeds the scenarios that have been found using conventional integrated assessment models (IAMs). Such models generally ignore economic disequilibrium effects such as unemployment, which could become important under conditions of radical economic transformation, and neglect key dynamic processes that control the rate of uptake of new technologies. Rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions also potentially violate the simple scaling assumptions used to derive environmental impacts in IAMs because of the slow response of some parts of the climate system such as the ocean, as compared to the land. We plan to develop a set of more realistic dynamic pathways to reach the 1.5 degree target using a new, fully dynamic IAM that does not rely on equilibrium or pattern scaling assumptions. The assessment will identify policy options and the degree of negative emissions required and will quantify the resulting spatial patterns of climate change and the associated uncertainty resulting from incomplete knowledge of climate, carbon-cycle and socio-economic parameters.

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