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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 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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