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Shaping Global Decision Making in the Shift Towards Low Carbon Energy

2 November 2021

2 minutes to read

Shaping Global Decision Making in the Shift Towards Low Carbon Energy

Economics of Energy Innovation and System Transition (EEIST) is a £4million government-funded programme led by Dr Jean-Francois Mercure from the Global System’s Institute at the University of Exeter. An international endeavour, EEIST is a collaboration of leading experts in complexity economics, systems thinking, and energy policy from Brazil, China, India, the UK and the EU.

This innovative programme develops cutting edge complexity-based modelling solutions to support policymakers and governments in decision making, aiming to facilitate a rapid low-carbon transition that benefits the economy.

Making decisions on climate policies can lead to structural change in our economies. Yet, the traditional tools we use to make investment decisions are only designed to deliver marginal gains to the existing system. The future is uncertain; therefore, analysis rooted in present assumptions will very likely mislead. The key to low carbon innovation does not lie in policy appraisal that seeks to guess the future based on the confines of present knowledge; it requires a bold and intelligent assessment of how to maximise opportunities whilst minimising risks.

To support this, EEIST has designed an innovative Risk Opportunity Analysis (ROA) framework, which provides an alternative approach to assessing policy options. Instead of only counting identified costs and benefits, ROA involves mapping both risks and opportunities. That means considering all the potential effects of a policy that might be important, even if a number cannot be put on them.

On 4th November at COP26, EEIST will introduce their innovative new framework through their flagship stakeholder report: ‘The New Economics of Innovation and Transition: Evaluating Opportunities and Risk.’ Included within are concrete, international examples of transformative energy policy initiatives with the risk opportunity analysis framework applied to them. By exploring these different outcomes, there is the potential to transform how governments across the world make climate policy decisions for years to come.

The report will be followed by a policy discussion led by international experts, who will discuss new innovation, decision-making techniques and modelling tools which support climate change related decision-making that benefits the economy.

For more information please contact:

If you would like to find out more about how the EEIST project is helping the global low carbon transition, please contact or the Environment and Clean Growth Team.


The University of Exeter is proud to be at COP26 this year, helping to address the urgent issue of climate change by engaging with an ecosystem of disciplines, voices, and solutions. Find out how we are working at the forefront of interdisciplinary research to tackle climate change in partnership with governments, business, and communities.

Read our COP26 Brochure Here


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