Jon Sampedro, Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow at BC3, has released an open version of the Global Change Analysis Model (GCAM) that consolidates consumer heterogeneity in the form of income deciles in the different end-use demand sectors of the model, namely residential energy, transportation and the food system.
The innovative version has been developed in the framework of the GRAPHICS project, in collaboration with the Joint Global Research Institute of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).
Moving towards finer and more heterogeneous scales and incorporating multiple consumer groups has been identified as crucial for the integrated assessment of global and regional scenarios.
“In terms of building energy demand, modelling a single average consumer can underrepresent the current and future levels of energy access and poverty in different regions, while focusing on within-region lower-income groups will be highly relevant to evaluate the progress to achieve universal access to clean and reliable energy, which is a social priority for the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” (Jon Sampedro, Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow, BC3)
Likewise, the impacts of alternative futures on the transportation demand for certain population segments (e.g., lower-income groups, or people living in rural areas) provide some relevant information for policymakers that cannot be obtained when using a single representative consumer.
“In terms of food demand, moving to finer scales will allow us to analyse food consumption at lower income levels. This is especially relevant for staple commodities and in lower-income regions, considering that, according to FAO, currently around 9.8% of the world faces hunger and malnutrition-related problems, with a special impact on children and women.” (Jon Sampedro, Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow, BC3)
The ground-breaking model version recently released overcomes some of these limitations and enables researchers to start answering some research questions that have not been addressed yet in existing literature and are at the heart of scientific and policy debate.
GCAM-GRAPHICS is open-access and can be directly downloaded from a GitHub repository. User questions and problems can be posted as issues at the repository, which also includes complete documentation of the released version, following the community nature of the core GCAM model.