PRISMA: Net-zero pathways with advanced modelling

Horizon Europe

ECI lead: Charlie Wilson

The PRISMA project aims to advance integrated assessment models by focusing on distributional justice and efficiency, innovation and finance, climate impacts and land-use, and lifestyle change and circularity.

Achieving Paris Agreement goals means rapid and full decarbonisation, with structural changes throughout the economy and society. Global integrated assessment models (IAMs) provide quantitative insights on policy targets and packages, and their implications across multiple dimensions and sectors.

Existing modelling frameworks and analytical capabilities need to be ramped up in response to new challenges posed by ambitious decarbonisation targets, disruptive events such as Covid-19 or climate change, and fast-moving societal trends such as digitalisation and circularity that impact climate policy.

PRISMA brings together the leading modelling teams in Europe, creating an ensemble of 14 diverse integrated assessment models with high process, spatial, temporal and technological granularity. PRISMA also integrates leading teams in empirical assessment, and a stakeholder engagement partner with strong ties to European policy institutions.

PRISMA has three main goals:

  • To advance the science of integrated assessment modelling towards more societally relevant process representation and evaluation.
  • To strengthen the empirical basis of modelling through exploitation of new data sources and empirical research.
  • To make models more policy-relevant and trustworthy through an active engagement with relevant stakeholders, policy makers, and an open-science approach

PRISMA will analyse the EU's Fit-For-55 policy packages in order to develop robust net-zero pathways and assess the uncertainty around key variables and outcomes. PRISMA will also provide insights to international climate assessments, a large number of open modelling tools and databases, including capacity building and dissemination activities for all countries.

Our work

The Oxford ECI team leads research on low-carbon lifestyle change and digitalisation as important elements of net-zero transitions, and which require improved representations in scenarios, pathways and modelling analysis.

Project consortium

  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici
  • International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
  • PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
  • E3 Modelling
  • Centre International de Recherche sur l’environment et le Developpement
  • WiseEuropa
  • Bruegel
  • University of Geneva
  • ETH Zurich
  • Paul Scherrer Institute
  • University of Cambridge