Technology and Policy

Decision makers at many levels need science-based information and analyses to understand complex issues associated with energy, emission and land use trends. This includes information on how decisions may affect future trends, and how to design effective policies and invest in technologies to reduce their adverse impacts on the environment. To state it another way, there is a need for robust, large-scale, creative options and solutions for addressing the global climate challenges facing our generation and future ones, but these solutions begin with implementation at the local and national level.

JGCRI conducts innovative research to assess and test such large-scale, creative solutions. Within this work we focus on three specific areas:

Red color shows heat loss and inefficiency of a building

Red color shows heat loss and inefficiency of a building (stock photo)

Analysis and field work to test mitigation options– JGCRI partners with organizations around the world to assess mitigation options. We examine questions such as how to ensure these options are robust in the real world, and how to best engage with decision makers for their effective implementation. This research leads to measurable impacts in mitigating emissions. It also provides real-world input for integrated assessment and cross-cutting analysis. Some examples of this research include analysis and pilots to test new energy efficiency retrofit mechanisms in China, analysis on building energy codes in many countries, testing code implementation through pilot buildings, assessment of policies for power, natural gas and district heating systems, and work to reduce emissions of short-lived forcers such as methane and black carbon through policies and capacity building.

Global and cross-country analysis of technology, policy and institutional choices is essential to understand how to make mitigation choices more robust and effective in addressing global climate change. JGCRI is a leading global institution in understanding energy efficiency policy and practical decision-making, including analysis of buildings, energy and transport systems. For example, we have conducted multi-country studies on energy and energy efficiency policies for the Major Economies Forum, the World Bank and others to understand which policies, mechanisms and institutional designs can be most effective in which settings. Two enabling elements help facilitate this work. First, is developing enhanced data sets that aid in understanding trends and choices; and, second is building collaborative networks and enhancing indigenous capabilities for greater access to available data and expertise at the national and regional level.

Soot from a bus before modernization

Soot from a bus before modernization (photo by D. Ryabov)

Deeper sectoral, regional and institutional understanding of global change and mitigation scenarios through integrated assessment. JGCRI is currently a leading global research institution in integrated assessment of energy, emissions, water and land use trends. We assess options for addressing these trends in a holistic and integrated manner. The International Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. Government rely on JGCRI and its Global Change Assessment Model for analysis of trends and mitigation scenarios. JGCRI is also building our understanding of regional, sectoral and institutional issues, across a range time scales commensurate with the timeline for decisions. For example, this allows us to assess not just global mitigation policies, but also the impacts of technologies and policies for land use, energy systems, buildings, industry and transportation. We have assessed the climate commitments of the largest economies in the lead up to the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris; we are also assessing the impacts of policies in the buildings and transportation sectors in India, China and elsewhere, for example.

Related Projects

Energy Performance Contracting

Energy Conservation Building Code

Black Carbon Emission Project

Technology and Policy points of contact: Meredydd Evans ( and Jae Edmonds (