Future energy planning which aims to avoid excessive radiative forcing due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions leading to a global warming of more than 2 degrees C is likely to require drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, possibly an almost complete decarbonisation of the current global energy sector. Such a transformation is expected to involve drastic costs, and large uncertainties surround the concept of decarbonisation and as to whether it is feasible economically.
Dr Jean-Francois Mercure is assistant professor in energy, climate and innovation at the Environmental Science department at Radboud University’s Faculty of Science, and research fellow in the Land Economy department, University of Cambridge. He is a computational scientist in the area of energy, macroeconomics and climate change. He was formerly deputy director of the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (4CMR), department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge. He was initially trained with a PhD in physics and complexity sciences (St Andrews, UK), and specialises in theory and models for studying the diffusion of innovations in a climate change mitigation perspective.
Dr Mercure’s work involves designing theory, computer code and datasets for building computational models to represent the process of technological change and energy economics, innovation and the impacts of these have on national and the global economy. This has the goal of projecting future global greenhouse gas emissions under chosen scenarios of energy and technology policy, as a result of and influencing the economic process, energy use and technology choices under expectations, influenced by policy. He works with an international team involving economists, geographers and climate scientists.
His work is currently used by, and in collaboration with, Cambridge Econometrics Ltd, UK, for applied policy analysis for the European Commission as well as other governments and institutions around the world, using the E3ME model. It divides into four strands:
- Modelling consumer/industry decision-making for low-carbon innovations
- Exploring the macroeconomic impacts of climate mitigation policy
- Understanding the environmental linkages to societal transformations
- Linking models to expertise across fields, notably with environmental law