Production system and representation of economic sectors - IMAGE

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Model Documentation - IMAGE
Corresponding documentation
Model information
Institution PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), Utrecht University (UU)
Concept The IMAGE framework can best be described as a geographically explicit assessment, integrated assessment simulation model, focusing a detailed representation of relevant processes with respect to human use of energy, land and water in relation to relevant environmental processes.
Solution method Recursive dynamic solution method
Anticipation Simulation modelling framework, without foresight. However, a simplified version of the energy/climate part of the model (called FAIR) can be run prior to running the framework to obtain data for climate policy simulations.

For comparable levels of affluence, observed consumption behaviour differs greatly between countries and regions, and to a lesser extent within countries. The modal split for passenger transport by walking, bicycle, car, bus, train, boat and aircraft depends on income, but also on engrained traditions and habits of social groups. Food preferences depend on availability and affordability, and also greatly on cultural factors, such as religion (e.g., no pork for Jewish and Islamic households, and no beef or no meat at all for Hindus), and on tradition, values and health concerns. In addition, behaviour may be influenced by concerns about environmental degradation, animal welfare, inter-regional and inter-generational equity, and other issues according to dominant social norms and values.

Consumer preferences and lifestyles may change over time, as may norms and values. The direction and rates of change can be inferred from the underlying scenario storyline. Policies may be put in place to enable, encourage or even induce change, given sufficient public support.