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Thematic Guide to Integrated Assessment Modeling



Practice and progress in integrated assessments of climate change

A workshop overview

Ferenc L Toth
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany

This paper is intended to provide an overview of the state of the art integrated socioeconomic-biophysical assessments of climate change as presented at the IIASA workshop in October 1993. The paper seeks to tally the major improvements facilitated by integrated assessments in understanding the global warming problem and the crucial unresolved problems they currently face. The basic conclusion is that, as a result of a healthy diversity in practice, integrated assessments show significant progress in structuring the economic issues of climate change and providing the first broad insights into policy options. But, as some of the simple and traditional cases seem to be solved, more complex and difficult contingencies come to the fore. This suggests a long way to go to develop skills that will be required to address the numerous open issues.

Keywords: Integrated assessments; Climate change; Economics of mitigation and adaptation



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