Accepted paper:

Organising policy-relevant knowledge for climate action: Integrated Assessment Modelling, the IPCC, and the emergence of a collective expertise on socioeconomic emission scenarios


Christophe Cassen (Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement)
Alain Nadai (Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
Béatrice Cointe (University of Oslo)

Paper short abstract:

This paper analyses how Integrated Assessment Models organised into a community around the production of socio-economic scenarios for the AR5 (2005-2014). It studies the repertoire that served to organise this work, frames epistemic practices of this community, in interaction with the IPCC WGIII.

Paper long abstract:

The IPCC, in its regular assessment of climate change research, covers a wide range of sciences and expertise, with three Working Groups with different focus (physical basis, impacts and adaptation, mitigation). Whereas physical climate models relevant to Working Group I have received much attention, few studies have tried to unpack to plurality of scientific perspectives that make up climate change research, and the relationships among them. In particular, little is known about expertise on climate change adaptation and mitigation. We seek to analyse one increasingly influential source of expertise on mitigation, that is within Working Group III of the IPCC: Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs), which were prominent within the AR5. We retrace how IAM research organised into a community around the production of socio-economic scenarios during the preparation of the IPCC AR5 (2005-2014). Our objective is to describe the co-emergence of a research community, its instruments, and its domain of applicability. We highlight the role of the IPCC process in the making of the IAM community, showing how IAM worked their way to an influent position, and analyse elements of the repertoire that served to organise collective work on scenarios in interaction with the IPCC and the European Union, and which now frames the community and its epistemic practices. This is a step towards a more refined understanding of climate expertise and of the dynamics and specifics of policy-relevant science.

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