Sustainable Earth Modelling Economics

The SEME Division analyses the transition to sustainability, helping identify and evaluate low carbon, sustainable strategies. The approach used is multidisciplinary, with strong use of quantitative methods based on data science, integrated modeling and experimental and behavioral economics.


  • Evaluate the low carbon transformation of the energy, land and climate sectors;
  • Evaluate behavioural and traditional policy interventions for promoting pro-environmental behavior;
  • Assess green innovation and its determinants;
  • Study the interplay between various sustainable development goals;
  • Identify robust policy strategies to climate risks and uncertainties;
  • Identify technological and societal transition pathways;
  • Study climate induced migration.

SEME Projects

  • PRUDENT: Promoting Green Nudging for Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry

    PRUDENT aspires to revolutionize agriculture and forestry by promoting sustainable practices and…

  • CO-CREATE: Conditions for Responsible Research of SRM – Analysis, Co-Creation, and Ethos

    Experimental research on solar radiation modification (SRM) is controversial and feared to…

  • FIND: Finance and Innovation to couple Negative emissions and sustainable Development

    Current global climate action is deeply insufficient to deliver the objectives of…

  • SEME Publications

    The formation of secondary inorganic aerosols: A data-driven investigation of Lombardy’s secondary inorganic aerosol problem

    Granella F., Renna S., Aleluia Da Silva Reis L.
    2024, Atmospheric Environment, Volume 32715 - Article number 120480, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2024.120480

    The formation of secondary inorganic aerosols: A data-driven investigation of Lombardy’s secondary inorganic aerosol problem

    Granella F., Renna S., Aleluia Da Silva Reis L.
    2024, Atmospheric Environment, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2024.120480

    Multidimensional welfare indices and the IPCC 6th Assessment Report scenarios

    Emmerling J., Kornek U.; Zuber S.
    2024, Ecological Economics, Volume 220 - June 2024 - Article number 108182, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2024.108182

    SEME Models

  • FASST(R) - FAst Scenario Screening Tool

    FASST(R) is a source receptor model, an R version of the reduced-form…

  • WITCH - World Induced Technical Change Hybrid model

    WITCH (World Induced Technical Change Hybrid) is an integrated assessment model designed…

  • Division Director

    Cristina Cattaneo

    Division Manager


    Via Bergognone, 34 – 20144 Milano (MI)

    [email protected]

    +39 342 6133782

    Research Units

    We examine pathways of transition of the economic, environmental and technological systems. We develop and use complex models that integrate sectors and systems and delineate the key strategies compatible with climate stabilization. We carry out empirical work on the efficacy of climate policies around the world.

    Leaders: Laurent Drouet and Johannes Emmerling

    We assess the behavioural elements that affect individuals, corporations and institutions in the realm of environmental choices. We evaluate energy efficiency and low carbon programmes of industries and governments, both in developed and developing countries, through randomized controlled trials.

    Leader: Giovanna d’Adda

    We study the links between climate change and migration and estimate to what extent climate change and other environmental risks influence patterns of human migration.

    Leader: Cristina Cattaneo

    We identify innovation and technological pathways, strategies and policies for the low-carbon transition; we analyse the mechanisms and the role of specific policies and technological disruptions in fostering or hindering the transition toward low carbon development.

    Leader: Elena Verdolini

    RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment leverages two leading international centers for economic and environmental research: Resources for the Future – RFF, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change – CMCC.

    Latest News

    Europe is not prepared for rapidly growing climate risks

    Europe is the fastest warming continent in the world, and climate risks are threatening its energy and food security, ecosystems, infrastructure, water resources, financial stability, and people’s health. According to the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) assessment, coordinated with CMCC and published today, many of these risks have already reached critical levels and could become catastrophic without urgent and decisive action.

    The cost of climate change on households in the European Union

    The population at risk of poverty in the EU is expected to increase due to climate change: according to a study by CMCC, healthcare, food, and energy expenses of households will significantly rise, and their income will decline by 2050 due to climate change. Furthermore, poor families in the southern EU region will experience the greatest impacts. Mitigation policies are likely to have a positive effect on the lower-income layers of the population, at least in relation to their job income.

    Using public incentives for negative emissions increases economic inequality

    Public incentives to financing privately-owned negative emissions technologies by integrating them into a single carbon market increase economic inequality of climate policies, which could double in a 1.5°C global warming scenario. New research from CMCC and Politecnico di Milano published in Nature Climate Change proposes alternatives to mitigate this effect, while still ensuring decarbonization at reasonable cost.

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