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Integrated Climate Impacts Assessment

Assessing the impact of climate mitigation and adaptation policies using systems models


Group Leaders: Aideen Foley (climate science) and Sören Lindner (emissions)
Group Members:
Jean-François Mercure (economics, energy and emissions)
Siyuan He (land use/land use change)
Douglas Crawford-Brown (health impacts)


The aim of the Integrated Assessment project is to assess the impact of specific suites of climate mitigation and adaptation policies using a range of modelling approaches. It is made possible in part through an award from the Three Guineas Trust.

Current approaches to integrated assessment tend to follow one of two formats. In the first format, the economy is represented using a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model. In the second format, assumptions about the economy are specified using scenarios. For example, a current standard is the use of four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) to drive climate simulations, but importantly, these radiative forcing pathways can be reached via a range of socioeconomic and technological development scenarios. As such, in current modelling frameworks there lacks an explicit series of linkages between particular policy decisions (e.g. relating to the economy or technology), CO2 emissions and concentrations, and climate impacts.

Box model 

The novel approach taken in this project uses a predictive economic model (E3MG) to generate a CO2 emissions profile for a given set of policies. Integrated within E3MG is a modelling framework of technology substitution dynamics (FTT) for generating scenarios of future technology and energy use. Emissions are passed through a carbon cycle model emulator to generate atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which are in turn used to force a climate model emulator (PLASIM-ENTSem). Subsequently, climate impacts on other policy areas such as health and land-use, can also be modelled, and allowed to feedback to the economy and/or energy systems where appropriate.


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Related projects

Human Health Risk: quantifying the impact on global public health of changes in temperature and co-emissions of air toxics such as particulate matter.



Crawford-Brown, D., Chen, P-C., Shih, H-C. and Chao, C-W., "Linking climate change co-benefits risk reduction and macroeconomic modelling", Journal of Environmental Management, 125, 1-6, 2013.

Crawford-Brown, D., Barker, T., Anger, A. and Dessins, O., “Ozone and PM Related Health Co-benefits of Climate Change Policies in Mexico", Environmental Science and Policy, 17, 33-40, 2012.

Crawford-Brown, D., “Assessing the Sensitivity of Climate Change Targets to Policies of Land Use, Energy Demand, Low Carbon Energy and Population Growth”, Journal of Environmental Protection, 3, 12, 1615-1624, 2012.


Briefing Papers

Health Benefits of Carbon Reduction

Walkable, Bikeable Communities

Decarbonisation and Improved Air Quality in Mexico

Global Co-benefits of Decarbonisation

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4CMR has finished its cycle, and has been replaced by the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG). C-EENRG is also located in the Department of Land Economy, with a core mission to "conduct integrative research on the governance of environmental transitions, understood as social and technological processes driven by environmental constraints that lead to fundamental changes in social organisation."

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