Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Paris Agreement climate proposals need a boost to keep warming well below 2 °c
    Rogelj, Joeri ; Elzen, Michel Den; Höhne, Niklas ; Fransen, Taryn ; Fekete, Hanna ; Winkler, Harald ; Schaeffer, Roberto ; Sha, Fu ; Riahi, Keywan ; Meinshausen, Malte - \ 2016
    Nature 534 (2016)7609. - ISSN 0028-0836 - p. 631 - 639.

    The Paris climate agreement aims at holding global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to "pursue efforts" to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To accomplish this, countries have submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) outlining their post-2020 climate action. Here we assess the effect of current INDCs on reducing aggregate greenhouse gas emissions, its implications for achieving the temperature objective of the Paris climate agreement, and potential options for overachievement. The INDCs collectively lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to where current policies stand, but still imply a median warming of 2.6-3.1 degrees Celsius by 2100. More can be achieved, because the agreement stipulates that targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are strengthened over time, both in ambition and scope. Substantial enhancement or over-delivery on current INDCs by additional national, sub-national and non-state actions is required to maintain a reasonable chance of meeting the target of keeping warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.

    Greenhouse gas emissions from current and enhanced policies of China until 2030 : Can emissions peak before 2030?
    Elzen, Michel den; Fekete, Hanna ; Höhne, Niklas ; Admiraal, Annemiek ; Forsell, Nicklas ; Hof, A.F. ; Olivier, J.G.J. ; Roelfsema, Mark ; Soest, Heleen van - \ 2016
    Energy Policy 89 (2016). - ISSN 0301-4215 - p. 224 - 236.
    Climate agreement - National climate and energy policies - Renewable targets

    In June 2015, China announced its post-2020 reduction targets, its central element being the intention to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 or earlier. China has implemented several policies to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This study provides emission projections for China up to 2030 given current policies and a selected set of enhanced policies, and compares the results with projected CO2 emission trajectories that are consistent with the announced target for 2030. The projections are based on existing scenarios and energy system and land use model calculations. We project that the 2030 CO2 emission level consistent with a peak in CO2 emissions by 2030 ranges from 11.3 to 11.8 GtCO2. The corresponding total GHG emission level ranges from 13.5 to 14.0 GtCO2e in 2030. Current policies are likely not to be sufficient to achieve the 2030 targets, as our projected total GHG emission level under current policies ranges from 14.7 to 15.4 GtCO2e by 2030. However, an illustrative set of enhancement policy measures, all of which are related to national priorities, leads to projected GHG emission levels from 13.1 to 13.7 GtCO2e by 2030 - and thus below the levels necessary for peaking CO2 emissions before 2030.

    Costs, benefits and interlinkages between adaptation and mitigation
    Hof, Andries ; Bruin, Kelly De; Dellink, Rob ; Elzen, Michel Den; Vuuren, Detlef Van - \ 2014
    In: Global Climate Governance beyond 2012 Cambridge University Press - ISBN 9780521190114 - p. 235 - 254.

    The thirteenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2007 decided that developing countries should be compensated for adaptation costs to climate change through the Adaptation Fund (first draft decision of the third session of the conference of the parties serving as the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol). This shows that adaptation to climate change has become important in international climate negotiations. Today, adaptation is widely recognized as an equally important and complementary response to climate change mitigation (for example, Commission of the European Communities 2007; IPCC 2007a; Agrawala and Fankhauser 2008). Still, relatively little information is available to support more integrated climate policies that focus on both mitigation and adaptation (Klein et al. 2005). In particular, in integrated assessment models that aim at supporting climate policy by analysing their economic and environmental consequences and formulating efficient responses, explicit consideration of adaptation is still in its infancy (Tol 2005; Wilbanks 2005; Agrawala et al. 2008). This chapter tries to fill the gap in integrated assessment models by integrating adaptation and residual damage functions from AD-RICE (de Bruin et al. 2009) with the FAIR model (den Elzen and van Vuuren 2007; Hof et al. 2008). This version of the FAIR model (from now on called AD-FAIR) enables an analysis of the interactions between mitigation, emissions trading, adaptation and residual damages (that is, damages not avoided by adaptation measures) on a global as well as regional scale. Furthermore, adaptation is modelled explicitly as a policy variable, providing insights in the economic consequences of adaptation. This information is vital for effective adaptation governance.

    Portfolio of Promises. Designing and testing a new tool to stimulate transition towards sustainable agriculture
    Elzen, Boelie - \ 2014
    Assessing the 'Portofolio of Promises'- A new tool to stimulate transitions towards sustainable agriculture
    Elzen, B. ; Janssen, A.P.H.M. ; Bos, A.P. - \ 2014
    To stimulate sustainable innovation, the MLP, and the governance strategies based on it (like SNM and Transition Management), provide a number of useful tools. For the agricultural sectors, however, with its multi-variety of relevant sustainability aspects and its wide range of 'bottom-up' innovation initiatives by entrepreneurial farmers, these approaches have serious shortcomings. To address this, we have developed a 'Learning and Experimentation Strategy' (LES) in which a novelty is indicated with the term 'promise'. The term expresses that a novelty has attractive features from a certain sustainability perspective, but it has also problematic or unknown sides. Importantly, LES not only looks at individual promises but at a whole range, called the 'portfolio of promises'. Several of these may be connected as 'smart combinations' to address a wider range of sustainability aspects. The PoP as a tool is basically a database that contains information on a variety of aspects for each promise. The paper describes four tests that we have carried out with this tool in the animal production sector. This has led us to refine the strategies for using the LES approach as well change the architecture of the PoP to tune it to various specific applications. Although this is still work in progress, the tests indicate that the PoP can be used successfully as a tool in stimulating innovation towards sustainability.
    Are major economies on track to achieve their pledges for 2020? An assessment of domestic climate and energy policies
    Roelfsema, M. ; Elzen, M.G.J. den; Hoehne, N.E. ; Hof, A.F. ; Braun, N. ; Fekete, H. ; Böttcher, H. ; Brandsma, R. ; Larkin, J. - \ 2014
    Energy Policy 67 (2014). - ISSN 0301-4215 - p. 781 - 796.
    gas emission reductions - annex i countries
    Many of the major greenhouse gas emitting countries have planned and/or implemented domestic mitigation policies, such as carbon taxes, feed-in tariffs, or standards. This study analyses whether the most effective national climate and energy policies are sufficient to stay on track for meeting the emission reduction proposals (pledges) that countries made for 2020. The analysis shows that domestic policies of India, China and Russia are projected to lead to lower emission levels than the pledged levels. Australia's and the EU's nationally legally binding policy framework is likely to deliver their unconditional pledges, but not the conditional ones. The situation is rather unclear for Japan, South Korea, Brazil and Indonesia. We project that policies of Canada and the USA will reduce 2020 emission levels, but additional policies are probably needed to deliver their pledges in full. The analysis also shows that countries are implementing policies or targets in various areas to a varying degree: all major countries have set renewable energy targets; many have recently implemented efficiency standards for cars, and new emission trading systems are emerging.
    Regional GHG reduction targets based on effort sharing: a comparison of studies
    Höhne, N. ; Elzen, M.G.J. den; Escalante, D. - \ 2014
    Climate Policy 14 (2014)1. - ISSN 1469-3062 - p. 122 - 147.
    future commitments - emission allowances - sectoral approach - abatement costs - climate policy - greenhouse - differentiation - mitigation - triptych - countries
    Over 40 studies that analyse future GHG emissions allowances or reduction targets for different regions based on a wide range of effort-sharing approaches and long-term concentration stabilization levels are compared. This updates previous work undertaken for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Regional reduction targets differ significantly for each effort-sharing approach. For example, in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 1990 region, new proposals that emphasize the equity principles of responsibility, capability, and need, and those based on equal cumulative per capita emissions (carbon budgets), lead to relatively stringent emissions reduction targets. In order to reach a low concentration stabilization level of 450 ppm CO2e, the allowances under all effort sharing approaches in OECD1990 for 2030 would be approximately half of the emissions of 2010 with a large range, roughly two-thirds in the Economies in Transition (EIT), roughly at the 2010 emissions level or slightly below in Asia, slightly above the 2010 level in the Middle East and Africa and well below the 2010 level in Latin America. For 2050, allowances in OECD1990 and EIT would be a fraction of today's emissions, approximately half of 2010 emission levels in Asia, and possibly less than half of the 2010 level in Latin America.
    The emissions gap report 2013 - A UNEP Synthesis Report
    Elzen, M.G.J. den; Fransen, T. ; Rogner, H.H. ; Luderer, G. ; Rogelj, J. ; Schaeffer, R. ; Neufeldt, H. ; Hoehne, N.E. ; Morgan, J. ; Olhoff, A. - \ 2013
    Nairobi, Kenya : United Nations Environment Programme - ISBN 9789280733532 - 45
    Countries’ contributions to climate change: effect of accounting for all greenhouse gases, recent trends, basic needs and technological progress
    Elzen, M.J. ; Olivier, J.J. ; Hoehne, N.E. ; Janssens-Maenhout, G. - \ 2013
    Climatic Change 121 (2013)1. - ISSN 0165-0009 - p. 397 - 412.
    brazilian proposal - land-use - responsibility - emissions - choices - co2
    In the context of recent discussions at the UN climate negotiations we compared several ways of calculating historical greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and assessed the effect of these different approaches on countries’ relative contributions to cumulative global emissions. Elements not covered before are: (i) including recent historical emissions (2000–2010), (ii) discounting historical emissions to account for technological progress; (iii) deducting emissions for ‘basic needs’; (iv) including projected emissions up to 2020, based on countries’ unconditional reduction proposals for 2020. Our analysis shows that countries’ contributions vary significantly based on the choices made in the calculation: e.g. the relative contribution of developed countries as a group can be as high as 80 % when excluding recent emissions, non-CO2 GHGs, and land-use change and forestry CO2; or about 48 % when including all these emissions and discounting historical emissions for technological progress. Excluding non-CO2 GHGs and land-use change and forestry CO2 significantly changes relative historical contributions for many countries, altering countries’ relative contributions by multiplicative factors ranging from 0.15 to 1.5 compared to reference values (i.e. reference contribution calculations cover the period 1850-2010 and all GHG emissions). Excluding 2000–2010 emissions decreases the contributions of most emerging economies (factor of up to 0.8). Discounting historical emissions for technological progress reduces the relative contributions of some developed countries (factor of 0.8) and increases those of some developing countries (factor of 1.2–1.5). Deducting emissions for ‘basic needs’ results in smaller contributions for countries with low per capita emissions (factor of 0.3–0.5). Finally, including projected emissions up to 2020 further increases the relative contributions of emerging economies by a factor of 1.2, or 1.5 when discounting pre-2020 emissions for technological progress.
    Bridging incompatible regimes: how the formation of intermediary regimes drives system innovation
    Flinterman, J.F. ; Roep, D. ; Luijer, A. - \ 2013
    In: System Innovations, Knowledge Regimes, and Design Practices towards Transitions for Sustainable Agriculture / Barbier, M., Elzen, B., France : Inra - Science for Action and Development - ISBN 9782738013064 - p. 86 - 100.
    System innovations, which comprise changes in socio-technical networks, rules and routines governing particular fields of practice, are generally regarded as essential to a transition towards sustainability. Various researchers have tried to unravel the pathways of system innovations in order to understand how these innovations can be stimulated or facilitated as part of transition management. This chapter aims to contribute to knowledge on system innovation pathways by studying the development of care farming as a cross-sector system innovation. Care farming is a rapidly expanding form of multifunctional agriculture that combines agricultural production with an offer of day-care to a diversity of clients. It emerged when a few pioneers started to provide care services at their farms and successfully integrated the different regimes governing the rather distinct fields of agriculture and care. Since then, the number of care farms has increased substantially. A new intermediate care farming regime has evolved, comprising new rules and routines, and embedded in regionally and nationally organized care farmer networks that are increasingly acknowledged by the healthcare sector. Our findings suggest that, at niche level, farmer strategies of (individual and collective) alignment and self-empowerment facilitate the development and maturing of a new regime. At regime level, supporting pioneers, creating room for experimentation, and looking beyond sector borders are factors that contribute to the successful realization of system innovations.
    Innovation for sustainable egg production: realigning production with societal demands in The Netherlands
    Spoelstra, S.F. ; Groot Koerkamp, P.W.G. ; Bos, A.P. ; Elzen, B. ; Leenstra, F.R. - \ 2013
    Worlds Poultry Science Journal 69 (2013)2. - ISSN 0043-9339 - p. 279 - 298.
    poultry production systems - animal-welfare - laying hens - environment - management - quality - model
    This paper describes an innovation trajectory for sustainability in egg production in The Netherlands in the period 2002-2012. In the approach as well as in the analyses, insights from scientific disciplines that have studied transformations towards sustainability were adopted. Central stage is the project ‘Keeping and loving hens’ and its outcome, by a variety of follow up activities, in terms of technical changes as well as rearrangements of key players in the Dutch egg sector. The ‘Keeping and loving hens’ project was meant to contribute to a change in the Dutch egg sector towards sustainability by explicating and integrating the basic needs of the hen, farmer and citizen in an interactive design process with stakeholder involvement. At the end of the project, various other projects and activities by different key players has taken place, several of which have been evaluated and published. Together they provide a detailed description of a pathway of change. The multiple design goals included income for the farmer, acceptance by the public and improved animal welfare. Analyses has shown that designing well-founded images for laying hen husbandry systems created a learning network for sustainable egg production and elicited entrepreneurial innovations which gained the support of both animal welfare and retail organisations. Furthermore, it prompted government to develop additional policy instruments to support innovation for sustainable development. By early 2012, four laying hen farms in The Netherlands had adopted the principles developed in the project including functional areas for hens, coverable runs, no beak trimming and visitor's facilities to improve local embedment. Their production represented about 0.4% of total egg production in The Netherlands. The most important outcome, however, was a realignment of key players including farmers, retail, animal welfare organizations and government. Together they contribute to a pattern of emerging supply chains characterised by improved animal husbandry at the farm level in combination with an emerging market that is prepared to pay a premium for these products.
    Copenhagen Accord Pledges imply higher costs for staying below 2°C warming
    Vliet, J. van; Berg, M. van den; Schaeffer, M. ; Vuuren, D. van; Elzen, M. ; Hof, A. van 't; Mendoza Beltran, A. ; Meinshausen, M. - \ 2012
    Climatic Change 113 (2012)2. - ISSN 0165-0009 - p. 551 - 561.
    non-co2 greenhouse gases - concentration targets - model
    This study compares emission pathways aimed at limiting temperature increase to 2°C under varying constraints. In a first set of pathways, the timing of emission reductions is such that over the 2010–2100 period, assuming full participation from 2013 onwards, mitigation costs are minimized. In a second set of pathways, we set emissions in 2020 at a level based on the pledges of the Copenhagen Accord. In the ‘Copenhagen Potential’ scenario, climate talks result in satisfying conditions linked by countries to their ‘most ambitious’ proposals. Contrasting, in the ‘Copenhagen Current’ scenario, climate talks fall short of satisfying the conditions to move beyond current unilateral pledges. We include scenarios with and without the availability of bio-energy in combination with carbon capture and storage. We find that for a ‘Copenhagen Potential’ scenario, emissions by 2020 are higher (47 GtCO2eq/yr) than for a least-cost pathway for 2°C (43 GtCO2eq/yr with a 40–46 GtCO2eq/yr literature range). In the ‘Copenhagen Potential’ scenario the 2°C target can still be met with a likely chance, although discounted mitigation costs over 2010–2100 could be 10 to 15 % higher, and up to 60 % in the 2040–2050s, than for least-cost pathways. For the ‘Current Copenhagen’ scenario, maintaining an equally low probability of exceeding 2°C becomes infeasible in our model, implying higher costs due to higher climate risks. We conclude that there is some flexibility in terms of 2020 emissions compared to the optimal pathways but this is limited. The 2020 emission level represents a trade-off between short-term emission reductions and long-term dependence on rapid reductions through specific technologies (like negative emission reductions). Higher 2020 emissions lead to higher overall costs and reduced long-term flexibility, both leading to a higher risk of failing to hold warming below 2°C.
    Greenhouse gas emission reduction proposals and national climate policies of major economies : Policy Brief
    Hoehne, N.E. ; Braun, N. ; Fekete, H. ; Larkin, J. ; Elzen, M. ; Roelfsema, M. ; Hof, A. van 't; Böttcher, H. - \ 2012
    Bilthoven, Utrecht : Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Bilthoven and ECOFYS, Utrecht (ECOFYS : sustainable energy for everyone ) - 33
    Understanding eco-industrial development processes through multiple change perspectives
    Verguts, V.A.J. ; Dessein, J. ; Lauwers, L. ; Werkman, R.A. ; Termeer, C.J.A.M. - \ 2012
    In: System Innovations, knowledge regimes and design practices towards transitions for sustainable agriculture / Barbier, M., Elzen, B., INRA - ISBN 9782738013064 - p. 193 - 207.
    Eco-industrial parks are receiving increasing attention in light of the sustainability discourse. Although the formation and development of eco-industrial parks have been investigated, these processes are difficult to grasp. In order to better understand and govern the trajectory of these processes, this chapter attempts to reveal some of their complexity. It addresses the formation of industrial parks from a change perspective, with a focus on the interplay between actors and context. We use two lenses to build a combination of change perspectives: transition management theories, and the episodic and continuous change concepts of organisational theory. Both of these lenses distinguish between change that is planned, abrupt and discontinuous, and change that is emergent, incremental and continuous. The main lesson of the paper is that actors’ perspectives of change and development affect possible governance strategies. Planned change assumes that actors are unable to adapt their underlying structures to the new demands for sustainable development and thus require interventions from the outside. In the case of continuous change, actors are seen as self-organising. This process calls more for facilitation and removal of possible stumbling blocks. In order to choose a good governance strategy applied to the circumstances, these perspectives need to be combined.
    Quantitative detection of foliar nematodes (Aphelenchoides ssp.) is complex DNA bachgrounds.
    Doorn, J. van; Dees, R.H.L. ; Rybarczyk-Mydlowska, K.D. ; Mooijman, P.J.W. ; Elzen, P.J.M. van den; Vervoort, M. ; Veenhuizen, P.T.M. ; Karssen, G. ; Bakker, J.A. - \ 2012
    Populaire, winterharde elzen geven hooikoorts in de winter
    Vliet, Arnold van - \ 2012
    New identities, new commitments: something is lacking between niche and regime
    Charão Marques, F. ; Ploeg, J.D. van der; Kessler Dal Soglio, F. - \ 2012
    In: System Innovations, Knowledge Regimes, and Design Practices towards Transitions for Sustainable Agriculture / Barbier, M., Elzen, B., Inra - Science for Action and Development - ISBN 9782738013064 - p. 23 - 46.
    This paper analyses the difficulties in achieving the alignment of actors playing different roles in innovative processes. In so doing it seeks to further our understanding of transitions towards sustainable agriculture. We use an analytical framework that combines the Multi-level Perspective with the Actor Oriented Approach in order to examine the emerging ‘novelties’ generated by family farmers producing medicinal plants in ecological systems in the South of Brazil. We identify the characteristics that fit a definition of ‘innovation niche’. We describe the main weaknesses preventing the complete emergence of a niche, and analyse the misalignment of the various actors’ expectations. This is partly due to the incumbent regime’s strong relationship with the dominant technical-scientific fields, which contrasts with ecological agriculture that is known for its remarkable connection to social, technical, organisational, and behavioural changes. The novelty production of medicinal plants clearly illustrates some of the broader transitions at work in rural development. The case study also highlights the importance of finding ways to effectively manage these ‘niches of innovation’, in order to strengthen the internal coherence of their sociotechnical dynamics and to reinforce the social networks. As part of this process, there is a clear need to institutionalise new professional identities that are willing and able to question and even disrupt existing commitments.
    Stimulating transitions towards sustainable farming systems
    Elzen, B. ; Barbier, M. ; Cerf, M. ; Grin, J. - \ 2012
    In: Farming Systems Research into the 21st Century: The New Dynamic / Darnhofer, I., Gibbon, D., Dedieu, B., Dordrecht : Springer Science + Business Media - ISBN 9789400745025 - p. 431 - 455.
    How can the dynamics of the agro-food sector in the long run be addressed? We argue that sustainable agro-food systems cannot be developed through a simple improvement of existing systems, but will require a transition. Therefore, we focus on how transitions to sustainability could be initiated and supported, taking into account renewal initiatives at the farm level, organised projects, heterogeneous actors and differing interests. We argue that a transition will have to come from a range of novelties that initially have various misfits with an existing regime. To tackle these misfits will require a learning process that needs to be of a ‘reflexive’ nature which implies that various taken for granted characteristics of the regime and beliefs of stakeholders can be questioned. Another critical issue is that this learning not only takes place in a protected environment (or niche) but that new links with the existing regime need to be created. Only then can learning about novelties start a transformation process in the regime that may eventually lead to a transition.
    The art of 'doing' sustainable agricultural innovation: approaches and attitudes to facilitating transitional projects
    Loeber, A.M.C. ; Vermeulen, T. - \ 2012
    In: System Innovations, Knowledge Regimes, and Design Practices towards Transitions for Sustainable Agriculture / Barbier, M., Elzen, B., INRA - ISBN 9782738013064 - p. 102 - 117.
    System Innovations, Knowledge Regimes, and Design Practices towards Transitions for Sustainable Agriculture
    Barbier, M. ; Elzen, B. - \ 2012
    Paris : INRA - ISBN 9782738013064
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