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Integrated assessment modelling of degrowth scenarios for Australia

Li, Mengyu, Keyβer, Lorenz, Kikstra, Jarmo S., Hickel, Jason, Brockway, Paul E., Dai, Nicolas, Malik, Arunima and Lenzen, Manfred (2023) Integrated assessment modelling of degrowth scenarios for Australia. Economic Systems Research. ISSN 0953-5314

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Identification Number: 10.1080/09535314.2023.2245544


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
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
JEL classification: Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q56 - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounting; Environmental Equity
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity > O40 - General
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2024 16:27
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2024 18:42

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