IMAGEIntegrated Model to Assess the Global Environment.

Key policy issues per component type overview


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Key policy issues of components grouped by DPSIR type (Driver, Pressure, State, Impact, Policy response). The policy response components (Climate policy, Air pollution and energy policies, Land and biodiversity policies) summarise policy issues and policy interventions.

An overview of the IMAGE framework DPSIR classification

Pressure components

ComponentKey policy issue
Agricultural economy
  • What is the area of cropland and grassland required to support future food demand?
  • What are the policy options to reduce agricultural land use and to safeguard global biodiversity, while ensuring food security?
  • How can the implications of biofuels for land use and greenhouse gases be managed sustainably?
Agriculture and land use
  • No policy issues defined
Energy conversion
  • What is the potential role of energy conversion sector, particularly in power production, in achieving a more sustainable energy system?
  • What are the potential roles of individual technologies, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS), nuclear power, hydrogen and renewable energy?
Energy demand
  • How will energy demand evolve particularly in emerging and medium- and low-income economies?
  • What is the mix of end-use energy carriers to meet future energy demand?
  • How can energy efficiency contribute to reducing the growth rate of energy demand and mitigate pressures on the global environment?
Energy supply
  • How can energy resources be exploited to meet future primary energy demand?
  • How can energy supply and demand be balanced between world regions, and how will this effect security of supply?
  • How rapidly can the transition to more sustainable energy supply be made?
Energy supply and demand
  • How can energy supply and demand become more sustainable, balancing human development, security of supply, and concerns about climate change and air pollution?
  • What transitions in the energy system would meet long-term climate goals?
  • How are these strategies affected by uncertainties in the energy system?
Forest management
  • How can management influence forest capacity to meet future demand for wood and other ecosystem services?
  • What are the implications of forest management for pristine and managed forest areas, and on biomass and carbon stocks and fluxes of relevance for climate policy?
  • What are the prospects for more sustainable forest management and the role of production in dedicated forest plantations?
Land-use allocation
  • How will changes in agricultural demand and trade affect future land-use patterns?
  • How will land-use regulation, such as protected areas and REDD schemes, affect future land use and the impacts of land-use change?
  • How can agricultural intensification increase global food production, and what policies will contribute to this?
Livestock systems
  • What are the impacts of increasing livestock production on land use, greenhouse gases and other emissions to air and surface water?
  • How does the use of marginal lands for grazing increase the risk of degradation and loss of productivity, inducing more forest clearing?

Interaction components

ComponentKey policy issue
  • How will emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants develop in scenarios with and without policy interventions, such as climate policy and air pollution control?
  • What synergies between climate policy and air pollution control can be identified?
Land cover and land use
  • No policy issues defined

State components

ComponentKey policy issue
Atmospheric composition and climate
  • What would be the impact of global climate change in this century without additional mitigation policies and measures?
  • To what extent would the various scenarios to significantly reduce net greenhouse gas emissions lead to a reduction in climate change?
  • To what extent does the uncertainty of geographical patterns in temperature and precipitation change influence future climate impacts and response strategies?
Carbon cycle and natural vegetation
  • What is the role of the terrestrial biosphere in the global carbon cycle, how will it change in time as a result of climate and land-use change?
  • To what extent can the terrestrial biosphere contribute to reducing the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere and what are viable mechanisms?
  • What opportunities exist to reduce land-use related carbon emissions (e.g. REDD) and even enhance the carbon uptake through the establishment of new forests.
  • What are the contributions of land-use change, climate change and CO2 fertilization on the future carbon cycle and how can these be considered in climate policies?
Carbon, vegetation, agriculture and water
  • How do climate change and land-use management affect the land productivity of current and future agricultural land?
  • What is the role of the terrestrial biosphere in the global carbon cycle, how will it change in time as a result of climate and land-use change?
  • What is the combined effect of climate change and socio-economic development on water demand and availability, and associated agricultural production?
Crops and grass
  • How will climate change affect the productivity of current and future agricultural areas?
  • How could management improve agricultural productivity under current and future water constraints?
  • How will agriculture affect the Earth system with respect to carbon emissions, freshwater availability and nutrient cycles?
  • How will the increasing use of fertilisers affect terrestrial and marine ecosystems, with possible consequences for human health?
  • To what extent can the negative impacts be reduced by more efficient nutrient management and wastewater treatment, while retaining the positive effects on food production and land productivity?
  • What is the combined effect of climate change and socio-economic development on water demand and availability, and on associated agricultural production?
  • What is the potential of adaptation measures to reduce water stress and water-related crop production losses?
  • How can water demand be reduced and still provide the adequate service levels to the sectors with the highest demand?

Impact components

ComponentKey policy issue
Aquatic biodiversity
  • How will the biodiversity in freshwater bodies develop in the absence of additional policies and measures?
  • What are the key pressure factors causing loss of aquatic biodiversity?
  • How will policies and measures to reduce the key pressure factors contribute to meeting the internationally agreed targets of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)?
Ecosystem services
  • How would ecosystem services and the benefits from the natural environment develop in the absence of specific policies?
  • How could policy interventions contribute to improving future ecosystem services?
  • How could policy interventions influence the interaction between ecosystem services and other goals and ambitions, such as the millennium development goals?
Flood risks
  • How will future flood risk change as a result of socio-economic changes and climate change?
  • What would be the impact of floods, in terms of damage and victims, and where are the hot spots?
  • What would be suitable adaptation strategies and investment options related to flood risk?
Human development
  • What are the key future trends in human development, such as those targeted by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?
  • How are changes in the global environment likely to affect human development?
  • How is improved access to food, water and energy likely to contribute to human development?
Land degradation
  • In what parts of the world have human-induced changes in land and soil conditions occurred?
  • What are the future risks of soil degradation?
  • To what extent are ecosystem functions lost by soil degradation, adding to local and global concerns about food security, biodiversity loss and climate change?
Terrestrial biodiversity
  • What is the future rate of terrestrial biodiversity loss in the absence of additional policies and measures?
  • What are the key pressure factors causing biodiversity loss?
  • How will nature conservation policies and measures to reduce the key pressure factors of biodiversity loss contribute to meeting the targets of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)?

Policy response components

ComponentKey policy issue
Air pollution and energy policies
  • How do energy policies contribute to economic and social development, and how do they support or hamper a more sustainable future?
  • How can the goals for affordable, clean and reliable energy be achieved taking into account possible synergies and trade-offs?
Climate policy
  • What global greenhouse gas emissions pathways would meet the 2 °C climate target?
  • What is the effect of effort-sharing approaches on regional and national emission reduction targets and on the cost of climate policies?
  • What are the trade-offs between mitigation costs, adaptation costs, and climate change damage?
Land and biodiversity policies
  • How can land-use policies contribute to strategies for halting biodiversity loss and reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
  • How can changes in consumption patterns contribute to achieving sustainability goals through changes in land use?
  • What are the synergies and trade-offs between halting biodiversity loss, food security, reducing nutrient emissions, and reducing water stress?
Policy responses
  • No policy issues defined

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