7.7 Conclusions on Further Needs for Research
It can be concluded generally that, since SAR (IPCC, 1996a, 1996b) was published,
much progress has been achieved in the development of consistent and transparent
approaches to assess climate change mitigation costs. This has facilitated understanding
of the differences in mitigation cost results generated by different modelling
approaches, based on different assumptions. A number of new research topics
have been considered particularly important in the establishment of more information
about globally efficient and fair climate change mitigation policies. These
issues include a better understanding of the relationship between economic costs
of climate change mitigation policies and the sustainable development implications
in different parts of the world. Specifically, a number of key research issues
for further work include:
- Development and application of methodological approaches for the integrated
assessment of linkages between climate change mitigation costs and sustainable
development, including development, environment, and social dimensions:
- assessment of macroeconomic impacts using different welfare measures,
- co-benefit studies, and
- assessment of equity impacts (intragenerational equity impacts should
be represented as detailed studies of distributional impacts, and can
be integrated as formal decision criteria in policy assessments).
- Development of a framework for the assessment of intra- and intergenerational
equity aspects of climate change mitigation studies.
- Integration of environmental impact assessments in climate change mitigation
studies. This will require the development of consistent methodological approaches
and empirical studies.
- Establishment of approaches to conduct implementation cost analysis in both
top-down and bottom-up models.
- Implementation cost studies that reflect financial market conditions, institutional
and human capacities, information requirements, market size and opportunities
for technology gain and learning, economic incentives, and policy instruments.
- Development of a systematic approach for reporting baseline assumptions
and the costs of moving from one specific baseline case to a climate change
- Further development of a consistent analytical structure and a format for
reporting the main assumptions that underlie costing results, including:
- main scenario drivers: economic growth, technological development, sectoral
activity, and fuel prices;
- behavioural assumptions;
- flexibility of climate change mitigation policies, including timing
of the reduction policies, GHG emissions included, and international co-operative
- assumptions about tax recycling options, side-impacts of climate change
mitigation policies, and the potential implementation of no regrets options.
- Development of approaches to and conduct of studies for developing countries
and EITs that better reflect the specific characteristics of these economies
in implementing climate change mitigation policies. Some of the major research
- assessment of alternative development patterns and their relationship
to development, social, and environmental sustainability dimensions;
- macroeconomic studies that consider structural adjustment policies and
market transformation processes;
- studies of the informal sector and implications for GHG emissions and
- non-commercial energy use; and
- specific implementation policy issues.
- Estimates of future costs and sustainability implications that both reflect
how climate change might affect future ecosystems, how these altered ecosystems
might affect the demand for different goods, and how this demand might affect
the welfare of our descendants.