The usefulness of global integrated assessment model (IAM) results for policy recommendation in specific regions has not been fully assessed to date. This study presents the variation in results across models for a given region, and what might be behind this variation and how model assumptions and structures drive results. Understanding what drives the differences across model results is important for national policy relevance of global scenarios.
We focus on the use of bioenergy in Brazil, a country expected to play an important role in future bioenergy production. We use results of the Stanford University Energy Modeling Forum’s 33rd Study (EMF-33) model comparison exercise to compare and assess projections of Brazil’s bioenergy pathways under climate mitigation scenarios to explore how 10 global IAMs compare to recent trends in the country. We find that, in their current form, global IAMs have limited potential to supply robust insights into regional mitigation strategies. Our results suggest fertile ground for a new research agenda to improve regional representation in global IAMs with improved spatial and technological resolutions.