Our main hypothesis is that crafting climate policies to meet the medium targets could lead the society to pick only low-hanging fruits void of further transformation potential. A myopic bias will not change investments and consumption behaviour sufficiently and choices made for the medium term will lock us into too fossil-fuel-reliant patterns for many decades. If these mechanisms are at play, the climate strategy must include policy action designed to avoid costly lock-in situations.

We both analytically and numerically in a dynamic, macroeconomic framework, investigate the severity of lock-in mechanisms and possible ways out. One merit of our modelling approach is that we integrate many types of responses to climate policy instruments in a common framework: technological, changes in industry and consumption patterns, and changes in social norms and preferences; the latter virtually unexamined in large-scale models.

We combine two types of lock-in in the numerical model. Besides modelling that investments are long-lived, we also investigate possible consumer response inertia. Examples can be habit formation, psychological mechanisms or network externalities that call for coordinated action. Our choice among behavioural models will be based on their explanatory power, their compatibility with our framework and data availability.

We also check the robustness of alternative climate strategies to changes in the external surroundings, including technology, demography, and global (particularly European) economic development. We base these shifts on a set of storylines that we will develop by means of explorative scenario building and global technological and economic model simulations.

Finally, we develop transformation indicators that can be used for monitoring and facilitating adjustments on the way towards the low-emission society.

Project manger: Taran Fæhn, SSB


  • Fæhn, Taran – SSB
  • Lind, Arne – IFE
  • Greaker, Mads – SSB
  • Stoknes, Per Espen – BI
  • Rosnes, Orvika – SSB
  • Storrøsten, Halvor – SSB
  • Aslaksen, Iulie – SSB
  • Böhringer, Christoph – University of Oldenburg
  • Turner, Karen – University of Strathclyde
  • Bye, Brita – SSB
  • Hagem, Cathrine – SSB
  • Seljom, Pernille – IFE
  • Statistics Norway
  • BI
  • Institute for Energy Technology (IFE)
  • Universitety of Oldenburg
  • Universitety of Strathclyde

An expert forum comprised of resource persons from business, government and research will be actively involved in the project. The forum has expertise that complements the project group. The members of the expert forum are:

  • Ole Løfsnes (The Federation of Norwegian Industries)
  • Janne Stene (Norwegian parliament)
  • Kjetil Lund (Statkraft)
  • Are Lindegaard (Norwegian Environment Agency)
  • Marte Sollie (Ministry of Finance)
  • Jon B. Skjærseth (Fridjof Nansen Institute)
  • Caroline D. Ditlev-Simonsen (BI)
  • Helena Cabal (CIEMAT)
  • Henrik Gade (Norwegian Environment Agency)
  • Per Arild Garnåsjordet (Statistics Norway)
  • Endre Tvinnerheim (UNI Research)

Funder: Norwegian Research Council (project no 268200)

Period: 2017-2022