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

Abstract

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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