Main Uses in Decision Making

Integrated Assessment Models

Provide an integrated assessment of how alternative policies influence an interconnected system that links human and natural system activities, emissions, climate, impacts, technology options, and/or economics


Bring together a broad range of qualitative and quantitative information to provide an overall state of the science (such as IPCC), policies, or climate change in a region

Tools to evaluate and incorporate opinions, judgments (e.g., surveys, expert elicitation, and structured deliberation)

Understand and integrate the views of experts and citizens about climate change and policies

Policy simulations

Explore the implications of alternative policies using games and heuristic methods

Decision matrices and use of criteria to search databases

Structure and weigh alternative options, identify options from database of available strategies (e.g., adaptation options, greenhouse gas reduction strategies)

Participatory decision techniques (e.g., participatory GIS, structured stakeholder involvement)

Collective decision making

Emission calculators (e.g., Life Cycle Analysis, GHG accounting)

Calculate emissions embodied in products, estimate emissions from firms, sectors, and regions

multiple levels and in different sectors and the available information resources. This also requires stakeholder engagement for the development of such tools to ensure that the output is useful (Nicholls, 1999). “Boundary organizations” that provide assistance in collaborations among scientists, decision makers, and practitioners, can help ensure that tools are structured in ways that meet decision makers’ and end-users’ needs, while at the same time ensuring that scientific results are accurately conveyed.

The effectiveness of any decision tool depends on whether it provides information

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