Warsaw TRANSrisk Meeting

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More than 20 experts from 9 countries discussed the low-carbon transitions pathways and risks for climate change mitigation during the workshop which we had pleasure to host on October 10 - 12.

The 2 ½ day workshop, entitled “Modelling of Innovation Policy Options”, was devoted to discussions on the work that has been carried out so far in the TRANSrisk project and to plan the next steps in relation to the identification of innovation policy options. It also aimed at the evaluation of climate change mitigation policy pathways through the specific tools that TRANSrisk is developing. More than 20 participants discussed the different types of models that are used in order to identify innovation policy options, as well as the level of detail that should be selected in the identification process.

Innovative Policy Options

The first day was dedicated to the progress of particular country case studies and the identification of policy options that are game-changing for climate change mitigation. The countries covered in this task were: Austria, Canada, Greece, Indonesia, Kenya, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. For example, in the Kenyan case study the idea to improve the sustainability of the energy system based on biomass is to include a wider number of farmers in the formalised groups cooperating at the market but also, at the same time, bind by the rules of sustainable farming. In the Dutch case the plan to reduce the cattle livestock by almost 40% or to build over 17 thousand integrated manure management plants would significantly change the possibilities for providing sustainable food consumption. As Eise Spijker from JIN noted, while these are not new technologies, their implementation on such a large scale and solving climate-manure-soil-water impact issues would indeed be game-changing.

Another policy example presented by Timothy Suljada from SEI deals with electrifying part of the road freight in Sweden. If this policy were to be implemented throughout Europe, it would have far-reaching positive effects on reducing emissions from transport. Gabriel Bachner from the University Graz presented research which assists transformation of the steel sector in their country to emission-free production, and is also exploring the implications of their exercises for other steel producing countries.

Stakeholder engagement: context and methodology

During the second day Aleksander Szpor from IBS along with Greek partners responsible for stakeholder engagement proceeded with a dry run of the Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping approach for eliciting stakeholder preferences. Aleksander elaborated on the context of the Polish case study and Haris Doukas and Alexandros Nikas from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) described the methodology.

User-friendly toolboxes

The last half day on Thursday was devoted to work on the adaptation and mitigation toolboxes in Work Package 7. Sotiris Papadelis from NTUA presented the functionality of the toolbox for adaptation policy pathways, which will be used for addressing uncertainties in model-based policy design.  Marek Antosiewicz from IBS presented the idea and initial implementation of the mitigation toolbox, which will be a user-friendly application with a graphic user interface that will allow non-experts (i.e. policy makers and other stakeholders) to easily run country-level macroeconomic simulations in order to identify a list of optimal policy options. This was followed by a sample simulation of possible developments in the Polish energy sector that will be supported by the toolbox.

The remaining presentations were given by Aleksander Szpor, Jakub Sawulski and Jan Witajewski-Baltvilks, who discussed socio-economic characteristics of Polish coal miners which provided the basis for a theoretical model explaining imperfections of the labour market in the coal-mining sector.

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During the meeting preliminary results were presented. The final outputs are published on the project website: www.transrisk-project.eu.

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The workshop was immediately followed by the stakeholder seminar entitled “Risks of low-carbon transition in Poland”, which took place on the afternoon of October 12.  See the summary.

photos: Marek Antosiewicz

*The workshop was financially supported by the TRANSrisk project funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 (under grant agreement no 642260).

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