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Consistent framework assumptions informing model- and scenario-analysis at the German Federal Environment Agency


Models analyzing the future of environmental systems usually presuppose various assumptions about social, political and economic developments (framework assumptions). For instance, energy models need to be feeded on the future population, the economic growth, the technological change, the expected policies and other assumptions before they can be expected to deliver results about the future energy consumption, climate gas emissions or the contribution of a particuar energy source or technology. The same applies for model calculations regarding other environmental topics.

Framework assumptions about future developments are quite unsure, however, and they are interdependent in a way that frequently can be described only in a qualitative manner. For these reasons the compilation of framework assumptions should include a qualitative but systematic exercise ensuring the consistency of the assumption bundle. This can be achieved by constructing "context scenarios" as a preparatory step of the model analysis.




A project commissioned by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and conducted by ZIRIUS deals with this issue. The project will identify typical factors serving as framework assumptions in environmental models, discuss their interdependence and use CIB for constructing consistent context scenarios for Germany in the year 2030.


Project duration: October 2010 - January 2011

Project staff ZIRN (since 2012: ZIRIUS) :

Sandra Wassermann
Hannah Kosow
Dr. Wolfgang Weimer-Jehle


>> Report (in German)



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