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Transformative targets in sustainability policy making: the case of the 30% EU mitigation goal

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This paper explores to what extent moving towards the 30% GHG emission reductions by 2020 with respect to 1990 in the EU can be considered a transformative target. To do so, we first define the concept of transformative targets from a complex systems perspective and show a novel approach and original results using an extended application of the GEM-E3 model. Traditional macroeconomic models cannot easily handle key synergetic system effects derived from green growth and sustainability policies, and thus require additional features. We analyse the role of semi-endogenous growth driven by learning-by-doing and low-carbon investment expectations following a long-term transformative trajectory.
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Keywords: EU climate policy; macroeconomic modelling; sustainability; system attractors

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Global Climate Forum and Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Campus UAB, E08193 Cerdanyola del Vallés Catalonia, Spain 2: Reims Management School, Paris, France and Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, University of Oxford, UK 3: Nijenrode Business University, the Netherlands 4: Global Climate Forum and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany 5: University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, France 6: Energy-Economy-Modelling Laboratory (E3M-Lab), National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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