A portfolio decision analysis approach for selecting a subset of interdependent actions: The case of a regional climate roadmap in Finland

Jyri Mustajoki*, Juuso Liesiö, Miika Kajanus, Tuomo Eskelinen, Saara Karkulahti, Taeyoung Kee, Anni Kesänen, Tapio Kettunen, Jyri Wuorisalo, Mika Marttunen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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In this paper, we present a structured approach based on portfolio decision analysis to support the consideration of interdependencies between actions (i.e. interactions) in the selection of an efficient portfolio. One of the main challenges in modelling interactions is that the possible number of them between the pairs of actions increases exponentially with the number of actions. In environmental management, the problems can include tens of possible actions potentially leading to hundreds of pairwise interactions between them. For example, a strategy for mitigating climate change can consist of various actions in different sectors for improving technology, reducing emissions and the sequestration of carbon. Our approach aims to reduce the burden of assessing interactions by initially selecting a shortlist of actions based on specific heuristics and focusing on modelling interactions exclusively within this chosen set of actions. Another feature of the approach is the use of holistic evaluation of interactions to further reduce the cognitive load of stakeholders making the assessment. As a possible disadvantage, these features may increase the imprecision related to the results of the model. To analyse the impacts of this imprecision, we propose a way to carry out sensitivity analysis on the basis of how intensively the interactions would be taken into account in the modelling. The applicability of the approach was tested in a case related to the roadmap to a carbon neutral North Savo region in Finland by the year 2035. The approach helped to better understand synergies and trade-offs when putting the actions of the roadmap into practice, which is expected to lead to better results in terms of preparedness and adaptation to climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number169548
Number of pages15
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date23 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Climate roadmap
  • Interdependencies
  • Portfolio decision analysis
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Sustainable development goals


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