IMAGE is involved in numerous international projects engaging with policy makers and scientists around the world. Below a project list with short descriptions and the contact person in our team; in some cases there is also data available to download and explore.
Overview of projects
- BrightSpace strategies for assessing and addressing the challenges of EU agriculture
- LAMASUS land management for sustainability
- ForestPaths co-designing holistic forest-based policy pathways for climate change mitigation
- AGCLIM50 - IV challenges of global agriculture in a climate change context
- CLIMA analysis on global climate change mitigation
- ELEVATE enabling and leveraging climate action towards net-zero emissions
- ENCLUDE just and inclusive decarbonization pathways
- ECEMF forum on climate neutrality
- COACCH climate impacts and damage functions
- ENGAGE feasibility of climate mitigation pathways
- IASB sustainable lifestyles and behavior
- NAVIGATE improving the current generation of IAMs
- Non-state actors non-state and subnational climate actions
- DGIS international and sustainable development
- SHAPE achieve multiple sustainable development goals
The BrightSpace project aims to design effective and sustainable strategies for assessing and addressing the challenges of EU agriculture to navigate within a safe and just operating space, including planetary boundaries as required by the European Green Deal. BrightSpace provides a set of analytical instruments to experiment, analyse, and coordinate the effects of innovative governance structures and policies related to agriculture to navigate within a safe and just operating space. The IMAGE model framework will be further developed and applied for scenario analysis on sustainable agriculture, for example organic farming, biodiversity impacts, nutrient and water management, excessive pesticide use.
The LAMASUS project focuses on 1) high-resolution mapping and monitoring of European land use management and EU agricultural and forest policies, 2) improved understanding of dynamics, drivers and impact of land-use management, 3) improved economic and environmental modelling of land-use management in agriculture and forestry across scales (from field level to world regions), and 4) to co-design multi-level policy relevant scenarios. The IMAGE team will work on model development for improved representation of land-use management (intensities, fertilizer and pesticide use, organic farming) and policy scenario design relevant for agriculture and forestry transition.
The ForestPaths project aims to co-design, quantify and evaluate holistic forest-based policy pathways to optimize the contribution of forests and the forest-based sector to climate change mitigation, and which consider the need to adapt forests to climate change, conserve biodiversity and sustain the provisioning of forest ecosystem services. The IMAGE and GLOBIO teams together will work on forestry modelling, impact of forest management on biodiversity and climate change mitigation, and forest product life cycle assessments including biodiversity impacts.
The AGCLIM50-IV project is a subsidiary from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison Project (AGMIP) that focuses on the food system effects of land degradation. The IMAGE team is involved in cooperation with the MAGNET team from WEcR (Wageningen Economic Research) working with the Agro-economic MAGNET model. The goal is to investigate the effects of land restoration and land protection in relation to land degradation neutrality targets of the UNCCD and its impacts on agricultural production, food prices, trade and food security.
The overall objective of the CLIMA project is to inform the European Commission on developments in the field of climate policies (including related areas such as energy, land use and international transport) on a global scale. This is to be done by providing analysis to DG CLIMA on global climate change mitigation using state-of-the art quantitative tools and by tracking climate action and progress towards targets, particularly in large-emitting major economies.
More specifically, the project contributes to the overall objective above by:
- delivering analysis on climate change mitigation action for the internal use of the European Commission based on a combination of comprehensive literature review and new model runs;
- analysing the state of play regarding progress in implementing climate action around the world, with a view to publishing briefings or working papers to inform policymakers and relevant stakeholders.
ELEVATE’s main aim is to develop transformative new scientific insights to support the preparations of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and national climate policies focused on achieving net-zero emissions mid-century in line with the Paris Agreement. The project takes up this challenge by a transdisciplinary consortium of national and international climate research teams interacting actively with policymakers and other stakeholders in climate policy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The project features novel state-of-the-art contributions:
- Establish and facilitate strong interaction between researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders;
- Identify transformational policies to accelerate climate action beyond NDCs and towards net-zero by conducting a systematic assessment of the impact of current policies;
- Enhance the scientific understanding of the technological and behavioural options in different sectors;
- Identify options to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of international climate governance and policy (WP4);
- Represent justice and sustainability in climate mitigation pathways (WP5);
- Develop a new generation of national and global mitigation scenarios (focus on enabling factors);
- Develop consistent definitions of net-zero emission goals and identify milestones, drivers and barriers towards achieving these (WP6);
- Increase worldwide capacity for scientific support.
In the transformation of the energy system, citizens are becoming increasingly important as engaged, involved and shaping participants. This role of participatory energy consumers is reflected in the term "energy citizen". ENCLUDE aims to share new knowledge and motivate the broadest possible population to contribute to the energy transition. This transdisciplinary project will create a typology of the energy citizenship concept for diverse communities of citizens by investigating on-the-ground case studies of existing decarbonisation activities. For the first time, insights about who is affected by energy citizenship and how this concept might affect decarbonisation pathways will be incorporated into agent-based models and integrated assessment models. The research aims to therefore operationalise the energy citizenship concept at multiple scales of policy and decision-making.
PRISMA has three main goals:
- To advance the science of integrated assessment modelling towards more societally relevant process representation and evaluation.
- To strengthen the empirical basis of modelling through exploitation of new data sources and empirical research.
- To make models more policy-relevant and trustworthy through an active engagement with relevant stakeholders, policy makers, and an open-science approach.
These goals are meant to build more detailed, better calibrated, and more open numerical models and to apply them to evaluate the key climate policies and their interactions with the broader sustainable development agenda. To achieve these goals, PRISMA brings together the leading modelling teams in Europe together with scientists focused on empirical assessment and stakeholder engagement. Thus, this project revolves around an ensemble of 14 IAMs and disciplines spanning a large set of theoretical frameworks, process detail, spatial, temporal and technology granularity, and policy relevance.
- Project contact(s): Vassilis Daioglou
The ECEMF (European Climate and Energy Modelling Forum) project is the European counterpart of the EMF and focuses on the assessment of energy and climate policy, specifically at the scale of Europe. Together with 15 other institutes, the IMAGE team is involved in model intercomparison, research on climate neutrality, effort-sharing and trade flows. The project aims at enhancing collaboration between different types of models and makes a direct link with policymaking by means of stakeholder workshops and the creation of new visualization tools.
COACCH (CO-designing the Assessment of Climate CHange costs) aims to advance knowledge regarding climate change impacts and policy that can be used directly by stakeholder communities. The project gathers leading experts on climate change sciences from 14 European research institutions. The IMAGE is involved in the macro-economic assessment of damages and the creation of new, updated, damage functions.
The ENGAGE project will perform new model analysis on pathways towards to achieving the climate targets of the Paris Agreement, focusing in particular on feasibility. The aim of the project is to co-produce knowledge for designing cost-effective, technologically sound, socially and politically feasible pathways that can meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. ENGAGE will also quantify avoided climate change impacts at the regional and national levels and identify concrete policy portfolios that maximise co-benefits and minimise trade-offs.
Integrated Assessment of Sustainable Behaviour is a project that focuses on how IMAGE can better represent sustainable lifestyles. This is done partly through cooperation with experts in different fields. In the project we look into the relevant concepts discussing lifestyle change, methods to analyze lifestyle change and develop scenarios that aim to show the impacts of specific lifestyle change scenarios based on regional and consumer heterogeneity.
By tackling existing weaknesses and lack of capabilities of the current generation of Integrated Assessment Models, NAVIGATE will provide new insight into how long-term climate goals can translate into short-term policy action, and how countries and sectors can work in concert to implement the Paris Agreement. The NAVIGATE project will allow for improving the current generation of IAM models.
The non-state actors project, or ‘global aggregation of non-state and subnational climate actions’ project, aims to assess the impact of business and subnational climate mitigation commitments on greenhouse gas emissions on a global level and for ten large countries. It takes into account the overlap with national commitments. The IMAGE model provides greenhouse gas emission projections based on the impact of national policies, and an estimate of business-as-usual subnational and business emissions.
Since 2009, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands has funded additional activities of PBL through multi-year covenants. This is done to strengthen the content of the PBL work program at the interface of international development and environmental issues and with a view of achieving the sustainable development goals. In PBL work, the international and development dimension of the sustainable use and management of natural resources is an inseparable part of the analysis where relevant. PBL contributes to national and international policy development at the interface of environment and development. For Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS)- PBL contributes in its field of work to vision development, strategic explorations and policy coherence for development and the SDG agenda in Dutch policy. Realizing international policy agendas requires fundamental changes in the root causes of unsustainable development and exploring new, sustainable development paths. The 2030 sustainable development Agenda emphasizes the need for transformation, which, in the Dutch policy context, is translated into transition tasks. Tasks and transition paths differ greatly from country to country, depending on, among other things, levels of development, use of natural resources and use of raw materials. In the light of the major global challenges, we distinguish the following five transformations, which must be addressed in conjunction in order to properly deal with trade-offs and to exploit potential synergies:
- Energy transition and combating climate change
- Sustainable land and food system and combating biodiversity loss
- Availability of raw materials and circular economy
- Sustainable management of water systems and protection against water and climate risks
- Sustainable urbanization in interaction with the countryside
The IMAGE 3.0 integrated assessment modelling framework, which includes the TIMER energy-system simulation model and the GISMO health model is the main instrument we use to investigate pathways for the energy transition in developing countries.
- The role of decentralized systems in providing universal electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Trade-offs and synergies between universal electricity access and climate change mitigation in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Towards universal electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa: A quantitative analysis of technology and investment requirements
- More information on DGIS: DGIS
- Contact: Anteneh Dagnahew, Andries Hof
The SHAPE project investigates interactions between options to mitigate climate change and the broader agenda of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. It aims to analyse Sustainable Development Pathways that simultaneously achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030, maintain sustainable development thereafter, and meet the climate targets set out in the Paris agreement.