Integrated assessment modelling of degrowth scenarios for Australia

Li, M., Keyßer, L., Kikstra, J. ORCID:, Hickel, J., Brockway, P.E., Dai, N., Malik, A., & Lenzen, M. (2023). Integrated assessment modelling of degrowth scenarios for Australia. Economic Systems Research 1-31. 10.1080/09535314.2023.2245544.

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Empirical evidence increasingly indicates that to achieve sufficiently rapid decarbonisation, high-income economies may need to adopt degrowth policies, scaling down less-necessary forms of production and demand, in addition to rapid deployment of renewables. Calls have been made for degrowth climate mitigation scenarios. However, so far these have not been modelled within the established Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) for future scenario analysis of the energy-economy-emission nexus, partly because the architecture of these IAMs has growth ‘baked in’. In this work, we modify one of the common IAMs – MESSAGEix – to make it compatible with degrowth scenarios. We simulate scenarios featuring low and negative growth in a high-income economy (Australia). We achieve this by detaching MESSAGEix from its monotonically growing utility function, and by formulating an alternative utility function based on non-monotonic preferences. The outcomes from such modified scenarios reflect some characteristics of degrowth futures, including reduced aggregate production and declining energy and emissions. However, further work is needed to explore other key degrowth features such as sectoral differentiation, redistribution, and provisioning system transformation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Integrated Assessment Models; Utility function; Degrowth; energy-economy decoupling; post-growth
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions (TISS)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2023 07:49
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2023 07:49

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