Low-Carbon Policy Making vs. Low-Carbon Policy Modelling: State-of-the-Art and Challenges

Ghersi, Frédéric
October 2014
Environmental Modeling & Assessment;Oct2014, Vol. 19 Issue 5, p345
Academic Journal
This paper surveys the use made of modelling expertise in the recent literature focused on the policy making of low-carbon societies in Europe, both peer-reviewed and 'grey'. The first section focuses on the prominent policy instrument of carbon pricing. It starts by analysing the somewhat confusing use made of carbon pricing modelling in policy reports emanating from the French and British governments, then reviews some modelling results on carbon pricing in a 'second best' world. The second section lists the impressive collection of more focused policy instruments that are advocated in both governmental and non-governmental literature. It insists on the contrast between the high degree of precision of some of these policy proposals and the limited modelling of their impacts, either from an environmental or an economic point of view. The third section concludes on recommendations to the policy modelling community inspired by this survey. Purposely avoiding the current controversies surrounding cost-benefit analysis, it advocates further applied research on the cost efficiency of carbon pricing trajectories (when flexibility); on the terra incognita beyond first best uniform pricing (where flexibility); on the elicitation of policy overlaps; and on the modelling of extended policy portfolios in comprehensive, consistent modelling frameworks.


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