UCL Energy Institute


Model to Assess CO2 Emissions of Regional Policy Programmes

29 November 2016


Principal Investigator: Ilkka Keppo
Duration of the project: 12 months
Sponsor: European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Development
Amount of the grant: 65 000 EUR for UCL (total grant 845 000 EUR)

The aim of this 12 month long project is to develop a model that allows regional policy makers to evaluate the impacts regional development investments have on greenhouse gas emissions. Such a model would make the ex-ante evaluation of greenhouse gas impacts sufficiently practical to easily include it as a criterion for making investment decisions. The model should thus (i) enable evaluation of the greenhouse gas impact of investments resulting from the Operational Programmes in the Regional Policy, (ii) be so generic that it can potentially be applied in all European regions and for all relevant spending categories, and (iii) be freely available. The proposal from a consortium of six European institutions, including UCL Energy Institute, was chosen and the work started in January 2012. Five European regions will collaborate with the model development team and provide the necessary data for customizing the general model for their particular region.

The main study objectives are:

1. To develop a test model to assess the CO2 effects of investment decisions co-financed by Structural and Cohesion funds, and

2. To provide guidance and documentation for the development of the test model into a fully operational model that can also be used by other EU regions.


The main output of the project is an Excel model, freely available to the European regions and member states. In addition to a generic model that lacks regional data, five test models, populated with data corresponding to that of the five collaborating regions, will be developed. The generic model can be used by any willing region to develop a tool specific to their data.

Additional outputs include the reporting and documentation related to the model development, as well as more pragmatic guidance document that will function as a guide for any regions that may want to develop their own model. A journal paper may also be produced, if time permits.


If adapted, the developed model may have significant impacts for how the European regions are able to evaluate their investment decisions. The tool enables them to consider direct and indirect emission implications of their choices and could also help them in determining emission mitigation options that are not covered by the emission trading scheme of the European Union. At the very least, it should raise awareness among the collaborating European regions participating in the project.