Model intercomparison of low-carbon development strategies for China meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement

Photo by William Bossen on Unsplash

Photo by William Bossen on Unsplash

After the release of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C and the publication of the EU’s new climate target - being climate neutral by 2050 - a study on China’s mid-century strategies (MCS) of low-carbon development has attracted high attention of Chinese energy-environment-economy modeling teams. For instance, a large project led by Tsinghua University and supported by Energy Foundation China has been conducted in 2019 – with eighteen research teams involved.

For generating policy insights from the MCS projects, scenario analysis and management of related extensive scenario data are particularly crucial. Therefore, one of the two main tasks of this project is to establish a scenario data collection and comparison platform for the Chinese modeling community building on IIASA’s “Scenario Explorer”. This web-based online data platform will help scenario modelers/researchers to easily manage and review their modeling results, and facilitate the comparison of results among different modeling teams. Moreover, establishing such a scenario data hub for the Chinese modeling community will also help improving data transparency and enhancing the communication among different Chinese national modeling teams.

National models usually lack a comprehensive connection with the development in the rest of the world such as the dynamics of energy trading and mitigation spillovers. In comparison, global models can depict such important connections, and then offer a global perspective to explore low-carbon development strategies for China, but tend to have a more aggregate representation of China. Therefore, a second focus of this project is to model China’s low-carbon development strategies with IIASA’s integrated assessment model (IAM), MESSAGEix-China. In this project, based on IIASA’s MESSAGEix-GLOBIOM modeling framework, a nested MESSAGEix-China will be further developed with detailed representation of China’s specific energy system as well as energy and climate policies and a comparison of model results among IIASA’s global model and various Chinese national models will be conducted.

IIASA has long and rich experiences on both these aspects, namely scenario data management and integrated assessment modeling, and will contribute its expertise to the Chinese research community to jointly explore mid-century low-carbon development strategies for China in the global context.

On January 9-10, an Expert Dialogue workshop on Development, Energy, and Environment was hosted at IIASA. In this workshop, we introduced our tool Scenario Explorer to around 20 Chinese experts. More information of this workshop is here

This project has received funding from The Energy Foundation, China

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Last edited: 29 July 2020


Fei Guo

Research Scholar

Sustainable Service Systems Research Group|Integrated Assessment and Climate Change Research Group|Energy


and Environment Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 409

Volker Krey

Research Group Leader:Senior Research Scholar

Integrated Assessment and Climate Change Research Group|Sustainable Service Systems Research Group|Energy


and Environment Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 415

Keywan Riahi

Program Director



and Environment Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 491


November 2019 - October 2020

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