Groupe d’études et de recherche en analyse des décisions

G-2015-79

Will adaptation delay the transition to clean energy systems?

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Climate change is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet in the foreseeable future, yet, despite international environmental agreements, global GHG emissions are still increasing. In this context, adaptation measures are an alternative to mitigation efforts. These measures involve adjustments to economic or social structures to limit the impact of climate change without limiting climate change itself. To assess the interplay of adaptation and mitigation, we propose AD-MERGE, an integrated assessment model that includes both reactive ("flow") and proactive ("stock") adaptation strategies as well as several mitigation (energy) technologies. We find that adaptation delays but does not prevent the transition to clean energy systems (carbon capture and sequestration systems, nuclear, and renewables). Moreover, applying both strategies is more effective than using just one.

, 20 pages