Application of the MIT IGSM to Policy Analysis

Active Project
Application of the MIT IGSM to Policy Analysis

Focus Areas: 

  • Policy Scenarios
  • Climate Policy

This project is focused on applying the MIT Integrated Global System Model (IGSM) to the assessment of climate-change policy issues. The IGSM is being applied to the investigation of near-term climate policies that are prominent in national and international climate discussions, and to long-term issues of atmospheric stabilization. Effort in these areas involves study of actual and proposed national policies, and proposals for further development of a global regime. We are engaged in studies of existing and proposed greenhouse gas mitigation measures, and technological potential, in a number of countries and regions including the U.S., the E.U., Canada and Japan. Contributing to this effort is our analysis of the interaction of developing countries and climate policy, for example, investigation of how fast energy consumption may grow in the China and India, and how this growth might affect energy markets, and what the implications will be for greenhouse gas emissions. We are also continuing our analysis of proposals for a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax in the U.S., and participation in a study of the performance of the E.U.'s Emissions Trading Scheme. We are also continuing study of potential international agreements including likely modifications of, or substitutes for, the regime of legally binding national targets and timetables that is the basis of the Kyoto Protocol. An important extension of our recent analysis of targets for atmospheric stabilization will be to explore a range of possible burden sharing arrangements and their implications for the realism of particular long-term goals. Aspects of potential system architecture include pollution taxes and trading systems, technology-based national policies and international technology cooperation, financial assistance and technology transfers, and voluntary or state-induced agreements at the sector level.

Funding Sources

Corporate & Foundation Gifts

Project Leaders

Administration, Faculty
MIT Energy Initiative; Joint Program
Administration, Faculty
Joint Program; CGCS