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CECILIA2050 - Optimal EU climate policy

Development of scenarios for 2050 detailed in an IO framework

2012 - 2015
Gjalt Huppes



The CECILIA2050 project analyses the performance of existing climate policy instruments and their interaction, and maps pathways for the evolution of the instrument mix in Europe. It describes ways to improve the economic efficiency and environmental effectiveness of the instrument mix, and to address constraints that limit their performance or feasibility. These include public acceptance, availability of finance and the physical infrastructure, but also the administrative and legal framework.

The CECILIA2050 project helps to transform Europe to a low-carbon economy by mid-century. A change to a low carbon economy can only be achieved if the existing policy instrument mix is scaled-up drastically. As the scale and scope of instruments increases, their interaction becomes more important, as do constraints on the political, legal and administrative feasibility. To evaluate their efficiency and effectiveness, instruments cannot be viewed in isolation; understanding and managing their interaction becomes key.

The first, backward-looking part of the CECILIA2050 project takes stock of the existing policy instrument mixes in the EU and its Member States, and assesses their coherence and past performance. It describes which factors determine their efficiency and effectiveness, and measures their effects on equity, innovation and competitiveness.

The second, forward-looking part maps pathways towards a more ambitious policy mix for 2030 and 2050, starting from the current EU climate policy. With economic instruments at the heart of the mix, it describes and models how the instrumentation could evolve, based on scenarios of the magnitude of change required for the low-carbon transformation. To this end, it combines the state of the art modelling tools with qualitative and participatory methods. To complement the EU-level analysis, the effects of EU climate policies are quantified at the global level.

Within the forward looking part of the project, CML has developed socio-economic scenarios for 2050 using a detailed input-output  (IO) framework. The results are presented below.

Development of scenarios for 2050 detailed in an IO framework

Here we present the scenario tool (a set of matlab scripts and data) that were used to implement a number of scenarios for 2050 that describe possible routes to a two-degrees climate change target. These scenarios help us :

  • to explore the requirements for achieving emissions reductions in 2050 consistent with a two-degrees climate change scenario;
  • to provide an understanding of the dimension of changes required for the transformation to a low-carbon economy by mid-century in terms of the techno-economic changes needed, the economy-wide scale of the transformation, and the changes needed in selected key sectors;
  • to define a set of options (building blocks) for coherent instrument mixes, specifying the scale and level at which policy instruments must be applied.

Instrumentation strategies and instrument mixes for long term climate policy

The 2-degrees climate goal, with around 90% CO2 emission reduction for the EU by 2050, can be achieved with different sets of instruments. Two main strategies can be discerned in industrialized democracies, and for the EU:

  • a planning & control strategy with a project and targets orientation
  • an institutionalist strategy with an incentive and enabling orientation.

Their long term instrumentation, starting from now, is the main subject of this study. The planning & control school links to welfare theory and optimization, with broad integration of several policy goals in instrumentation. The institutionalist school links to institutionalism in history, economics, sociology and political science, developing institutions for incentives and opportunity creation. The two sets are internally consistent and they are mostly mutually exclusive.

Results:  Final report (PDF)

See  www.cecilia2050.eu for more information about the CECILIA2050 project.

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