Procter A.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency |
Bassi A.,KnowlEDGE SRL |
Kolling J.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency |
Cox L.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency |
And 3 more authors.
Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy | Year: 2017
Cities worldwide face the challenges of accommodating a growing population, while reducing emissions to meet climate mitigation targets. Public transit investments are often proposed as a way to curb emissions while maintaining healthy urban economies. However, cities face a system-level challenge in that transportation systems have cascading effects on land use and economic development. Understanding how an improved public transit system could affect urban growth and emissions requires a system-level view of a city, to anticipate side effects that could run counter to policy goals. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a case study on the rapidly growing Research Triangle, North Carolina (USA) region, which has proposed to build a Light Railway by 2026 along a heavily used transportation corridor between the cities of Durham and Chapel Hill. At the same time, Durham County has set a goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from a 2005 baseline by 2030. In collaboration with local stakeholders, we developed a system dynamics model to simulate how Light Rail transit and concurrent policies could help or hinder these sustainable growth goals. The Durham–Orange Light Rail Project (D–O LRP) model simulates urban–regional dynamics between 2000 and 2040, including feedbacks from energy spending on economic growth and from land scarcity on development. Counter to expectations, model scenarios that included Light Rail had as much as 5% higher regional energy use and CO2 emissions than business-as-usual (BAU) by 2040 despite many residents choosing to use public transit instead of private vehicles. This was largely due to an assumption that Light Rail increases demand for commercial development in the station areas, creating new jobs and attracting new residents. If regional solar capacity grew to 640 MW, this would offset the emissions growth, mostly from new buildings, that is indirectly due to Light Rail. National trends in building and automobile energy efficiency, as well as federal emissions regulation under the Clean Power Plan, would also allow significant progress toward the 2030 Durham emissions reduction goal. By simulating the magnitude of technology and policy effects, the D–O LRP model can enable policy makers to make strategic choices about regional growth. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA)
Bassi A.M.,KnowlEdge Srl |
Bassi A.M.,Stellenbosch University |
De Rego F.,Maui Economic Development Board |
Harrisson J.,Maui Economic Development Board |
Lombardi N.,KnowlEdge Srl
Simulation and Gaming | Year: 2015
Background: Sustainable management of the municipal water supply is a priority issue in the policy agenda of Maui County, Hawaii. The Maui Economic Development Board launched the WaterStory initiative to educate residents about the determinants and history of Maui’s water resource development. A System Dynamics model was developed and coupled with a user interface to create WATERSTORY, an interactive learning environment (ILE). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze the benefits of WATERSTORY for the identification and assessment of sustainable water management policies in Maui. Method: WATERSTORY is a System Dynamics-based ILE that shows the cross-sectoral impacts of users’ decisions. Both, the simulation model and the ILE resulted from group modeling and ILE testing sessions. Results: The development of the WATERSTORY ILE facilitated the involvement of local communities in the discussion of water management problems and identification of possible solutions. Conclusions: The study suggests that developing a simple ILE is essential in raising the interest of a wide audience involved in sustainable development policy making. After stakeholders gain confidence in the benefit of the ILE, it becomes easier to integrate simulation exercises into planning processes at national, regional and local levels. © 2015, 2015 SAGE Publications.
Mercure J.-F.,Radboud University Nijmegen |
Mercure J.-F.,University of Cambridge |
Pollitt H.,Cambridge Econometrics Ltd. |
Bassi A.M.,Knowledge Srl |
And 2 more authors.
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2016
This article proposes a fundamental methodological shift in the modelling of policy interventions for sustainability transitions in order to account for complexity (e.g. self-reinforcing mechanisms, such as technology lock-ins, arising from multi-agent interactions) and agent heterogeneity (e.g. differences in consumer and investment behaviour arising from income stratification). We first characterise the uncertainty faced by climate policy-makers and its implications for investment decision-makers. We then identify five shortcomings in the equilibrium and optimisation-based approaches most frequently used to inform sustainability policy: (i) their normative, optimisation-based nature, (ii) their unrealistic reliance on the full-rationality of agents, (iii) their inability to account for mutual influences among agents (multi-agent interactions) and capture related self-reinforcing (positive feedback) processes, (iv) their inability to represent multiple solutions and path-dependency, and (v) their inability to properly account for agent heterogeneity. The aim of this article is to introduce an alternative modelling approach based on complexity dynamics and agent heterogeneity, and explore its use in four key areas of sustainability policy, namely (1) technology adoption and diffusion, (2) macroeconomic impacts of low-carbon policies, (3) interactions between the socio-economic system and the natural environment, and (4) the anticipation of policy outcomes. The practical relevance of the proposed methodology is subsequently discussed by reference to four specific applications relating to each of the above areas: the diffusion of transport technology, the impact of low-carbon investment on income and employment, the management of cascading uncertainties, and the cross-sectoral impact of biofuels policies. In conclusion, the article calls for a fundamental methodological shift aligning the modelling of the socio-economic system with that of the climatic system, for a combined and realistic understanding of the impact of sustainability policies. © 2016 The Authors.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC5-14-2014 | Award Amount: 2.99M | Year: 2015
In the last two decades the world has experienced several crises. In light of these trends and to more effectively move towards sustainable development, several organisations and international actors have developed the concept of green economy as action-oriented approaches. Priority interventions are aimed at triggering technology adoption, and stimulate behavioural change. In fact, eco-innovation can be considered an enabler for a green economy to the same extent that the green economy can be understood as an enabler of sustainable development. Green.eu is designed to address these challenges, ranging the conceptualization of eco-innovation and the green economy, to the harmonization of the approaches needed to coherently assess performance, identify gaps (successes and failures) for the effective adoption of technologies that can create win-win results. In particular, the project is designed so as to improve (1) harmonization of definitions, (2) collection of relevant information on the performance of past and current efforts, and (3) coordination among stakeholders. Green.eu sees the main challenges in an improved understanding (and scientific assessment) of the concepts of green economy and eco-innovation, on the adaptation of policy agendas, the documentation of best practices and guidelines for knowledge transfer and transferability. The inter- and transdisciplinary green.eu network (including knowledge brokers, programme owners and global industry networks) is research based and aims to accelerate the transition towards a green economy significantly, with a European focus on co-development of knowledge. It aims to exploit win-win-opportunities and to improve the take up of R&D results. It includes the following work packages: Networking and co-ordination; Harmonization of concepts of green economy and eco-innovation; Eco-innovation policy agendas; Best practices, knowledge transfer, transferability; Integration and operationalization of lessons learned.
Deenapanray P.N.K.,Ecological Living In Action |
Bassi A.M.,ISLANDS |
Bassi A.M.,KnowlEdge Srl
Natural Resources Forum | Year: 2014
The ISLANDS project is implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission using the European Development Fund of the European Union to support the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy in beneficiary countries. This paper shares the experiences of ISLANDS in deploying system dynamics modeling in five countries in the Eastern and Southern African and Indian Ocean Region (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zanzibar) for sustainable development planning. Lessons learned regarding the design and conceptualization of the project ISLANDS, including the adoption of system dynamics modeling as an integrated assessment tool for policy planning, are discussed. Although Madagascar and Zanzibar are not defined as small island developing States (SIDS) in the UN System, the lessons learned from these countries are applicable to all SIDS. The approach used by ISLANDS for technical assistance consists of nesting learning-by-doing, multi-stakeholder processes, and dedicated capacity-building in system dynamics modeling, as well as advocacy for the integrated modeling tool with decision-makers. While island developing States are recognized for their inherent vulnerabilities to shocks, the adoption of system dynamics modeling helps to achieve policy-induced resilience by exposing the challenges and constraints posed by the lack of reliable statistical data. Institutionalization of the tool is progressing well in the region. © 2014 United Nations.
News Article | November 19, 2015
A new joint release of Dual Citizen LLC and KnowlEdge Srl, The Climate Moment, presents an extremely comprehensive comparison of climate promises submitted to the United Nations (INDCs) from 12 key countries. The study, released last week, also collates their broader impacts. It anticipates new energy markets, investment risks and opportunities, payback times, avoided costs, and jobs in the lower-carbon economy expected after INDC commitments have been met. You can obtain the proprietary results for a fee at this link. National markets covered by full model simulations: China, the United States, India, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Mexico, with a special section on France. Carbon emissions from these nations represent over 60% of today’s atmospheric releases. Dual Citizen briefly summarizes each country’s relative strength in terms of its demonstrated policy commitments to reducing emissions, investment and payback period, market opportunities, and jobs and talent. The Climate Moment analysis also presents “push” and “pull” factors in each market. The Climate Moment uses the modeling results to highlight information for policymakers, investors, and business and to reveal the key differences between the business-as-usual and low-carbon scenarios simulated in the model. It also reveals broader national and subregional dynamics, new investment risks and opportunities, business trends and issues related to local job markets, and availability of skilled talent. A total of 2,530 indicators and over 100,000 data points inform the study. Each analysis includes a summary of 15 lead indicators, presented from 2015 to the individual INDC target year and to 2040 projections. Customized versions of the study are also available. Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter. Sandy Dechert covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."