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Review

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

1
Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, South Kensington SW7 2AZ, UK
2
Energy Institute, University College London, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0NN, UK
3
Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, 23 St Machar Drive, Aberdeen AB24 3UU, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(9), 1747; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091747
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 May 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section B: Sustainable Energy)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: integrated assessment models; IAMs; climate change mitigation; BECCS integrated assessment models; IAMs; climate change mitigation; BECCS
MDPI and ACS Style

Gambhir, A.; Butnar, I.; Li, P.-H.; Smith, P.; Strachan, N. A Review of Criticisms of Integrated Assessment Models and Proposed Approaches to Address These, through the Lens of BECCS. Energies 2019, 12, 1747. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091747

AMA Style

Gambhir A, Butnar I, Li P-H, Smith P, Strachan N. A Review of Criticisms of Integrated Assessment Models and Proposed Approaches to Address These, through the Lens of BECCS. Energies. 2019; 12(9):1747. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091747

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gambhir, Ajay, Isabela Butnar, Pei-Hao Li, Pete Smith, and Neil Strachan. 2019. "A Review of Criticisms of Integrated Assessment Models and Proposed Approaches to Address These, through the Lens of BECCS" Energies 12, no. 9: 1747. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091747

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