Uncertainty management and the dynamic adjustment of Deep Decarbonization Pathways
Uncertainty management and the dynamic adjustment of Deep Decarbonization Pathways / S. Mathy, P. Criqui, K. Knoop, M. Fischedick, M. & S. Samadi. Climate Policy, vol. 16, suppl. n°1 : Special Issue: The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project: Insights and Emerging Issues, 2016, pp. 47-62 – DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2016.1179618 – Draft : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01310236
Contrary to ‘static’ pathways that are defined once for all, this article deals with the need for policymakers to adopt a dynamic adaptive policy pathway for managing decarbonization over the period of implementation. When choosing a pathway as the most desirable option, it is important to keep in mind that each decarbonization option relies on the implementation of specific policies and instruments. But given structural, effectiveness and timing uncertainties specific to each policy option they may fail in delivering the expected outcomes in time. The possibility of diverging from an initial decarbonization trajectory to another one without incurring excessive costs should therefore be a strategic element in the design of an appropriate decarbonization strategy. The article relies on initial experiences in France and Germany on decarbonization planning and implementation to define elements for managing dynamic adjustment issues. Such an adaptive pathway strategy should combine long-lived incentives to form consistent expectations, as well as adaptive policies to improve overall robustness and resilience. We sketch key elements of a monitoring process based on an ex ante definition of leading indicators that should be assessed regularly and combined with signposts and trigger values at the subsector level.