The Integrating Climate in Macroeconomic Modelling (ICMM) project has strengthened the Nordic cooperation between experts and practitioners designing and using macroeconomic models. More than 100 experts and policy makers with different backgrounds and profiles have participated in the six technical and policy workshops organised by the project. These discussions have emphasised the relevance of integrated macroeconomic models for the design of a new generation of fair and cost-effective climate policies.
The following years will show if the policies informed by the models and designed by the experts in the ICMM network, will be effective in producing successful societal and technological transitions towards carbon-neutral economies, consistent with Our Vision 2030
, the Nordic ambition to become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. What is certain is that the capacity to steer those transitions in the right direction will largely depend on the ability of policy makers to understand the implications of their own policies, considering also multi-scalar inter-dependences and sectoral trade-offs.
Integrated models are powerful tools to enable such understanding by breaking policy silos. However, decision makers should bear in mind that the models are developed for the insights they produce about the most efficient way to deliver on the decarbonisation goals, not for the precision of their estimates. More important than the numeric results per se, which can be obtained in various ways and can never be exact (e.g. models can simulate a rapid de-carbonisation of the road transport sector by assuming a petrol price of 5 euro per liter), the models are useful to understand the assumptions that lead to a given result (e.g. additional blending of biofuels), and the mechanisms at play (e.g. rising world market prices of biofuels and its implications on land use change).
It is hence important that the exchange of knowledge between those involved in the design of the modelling tools continues in the future. This informal, yet structured, exchange of experiences can enable an effective cross-fertilisation and mutual enrichment of the specific genealogies of models in each of the Nordic countries. This shall not only contribute to more robust and meaningful advice of climate policies within each of the countries, making them more sustainable, but also to a more effective coordination of policies across the Nordic Region, making it more integrated. Moreover, this work can also provide a good opportunity to enhance the international outreach of Nordic integrated climate-economy models and influence international modelling work and policy discussions on climate policies.