Global Warming Mitigation Investments Optimized under Uncertainty

July 9, 2010 - 12:00pm
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The Copenhagen Accord (2009) recognizes that ‘the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius’ (compared to pre-industrial levels, ‘2° target’).  In recent years, energy economics have derived welfare-optimal investment streams into low-emission energy mixes and associated costs.  According to our analyses, auxiliary targets that are in line with the 2° target could be achieved at relatively low costs if energy investments were triggered rather swiftly. While such analyses assume ‘perfect foresight’ of a benevolent ‘social planner’, an accompanying suite of experiments explicitly acknowledges the rather uncertain nature of key responses to human decisions within the technology as well as the climate system.  We outline first results into that direction and indicate an intrinsic need for generalisation within target approaches under uncertainty. Finally, we sketch how a recently funded virtual department on climate investments (‘Knowledge and Innovation Community’ – KIC) within the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) may support the transformation of the European energy system.  [A recording of this seminar is available at slides alone may be downloaded from the link below.]  

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