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The role of China in mitigating climate change

Author

Listed:
  • Paltsev, Sergey
  • Morris, Jennifer
  • Cai, Yongxia
  • Karplus, Valerie
  • Jacoby, Henry

Abstract

We explore short- and long-term implications of several energy scenarios of China's role in efforts to mitigate global climate risk. The focus is on the impacts on China's energy system and GDP growth, and on global climate indicators such as greenhouse gas concentrations, radiative forcing, and global temperature change. We employ the MIT Integrated Global System Model (IGSM) framework and its economic component, the MIT Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model. We demonstrate that China's commitments for 2020, made during the UN climate meetings in Copenhagen and Cancun, are reachable at very modest cost. Alternative actions by China in the next 10years do not yield any substantial changes in GHG concentrations or temperature due to inertia in the climate system. Consideration of the longer-term climate implications of the Copenhagen-type of commitments requires an assumption about policies after 2020, and the effects differ drastically depending on the case. Meeting a 2°C target is problematic unless radical GHG emission reductions are assumed in the short-term. Participation or non-participation of China in global climate architecture can lead by 2100 to a 200–280ppm difference in atmospheric GHG concentration, which can result in a 1.1°C to 1.3°C change by the end of the century. We conclude that it is essential to engage China in GHG emissions mitigation policies, and alternative actions lead to substantial differences in climate, energy, and economic outcomes. Potential channels for engaging China can be air pollution control and involvement in sectoral trading with established emissions trading systems in developed countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Paltsev, Sergey & Morris, Jennifer & Cai, Yongxia & Karplus, Valerie & Jacoby, Henry, 2012. "The role of China in mitigating climate change," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S3), pages 444-450.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:34:y:2012:i:s3:p:s444-s450
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2012.04.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sergey V. Paltsev, 2001. "The Kyoto Protocol: Regional and Sectoral Contributions to the Carbon Leakage," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 53-80.
    2. Ronald Prinn & Sergey Paltsev & Andrei Sokolov & Marcus Sarofim & John Reilly & Henry Jacoby, 2011. "Scenarios with MIT integrated global systems model: significant global warming regardless of different approaches," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 515-537, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Danwei Zhang & Sergey Paltsev, 2016. "The Future Of Natural Gas In China: Effects Of Pricing Reform And Climate Policy," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(04), pages 1-32, November.
    2. repec:eee:resene:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:201-217 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Cheng, Beibei & Dai, Hancheng & Wang, Peng & Xie, Yang & Chen, Li & Zhao, Daiqing & Masui, Toshihiko, 2016. "Impacts of low-carbon power policy on carbon mitigation in Guangdong Province, China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 515-527.
    4. Octaviano, Claudia & Paltsev, Sergey & Gurgel, Angelo Costa, 2016. "Climate change policy in Brazil and Mexico: Results from the MIT EPPA model," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 600-614.
    5. Li, Aijun & Hu, Mingming & Wang, Mingjian & Cao, Yinxue, 2016. "Energy consumption and CO2 emissions in Eastern and Central China: A temporal and a cross-regional decomposition analysis," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 284-297.
    6. Richard Tol, 2013. "Low probability, high impact: the implications of a break-up of China for carbon dioxide emissions," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 117(4), pages 961-970, April.
    7. Qi, Tianyu & Zhang, Xiliang & Karplus, Valerie J., 2014. "The energy and CO2 emissions impact of renewable energy development in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 60-69.
    8. Rodrigues Cabral, Caroline & Gurgel, Angelo & Paltsev, Sergey, 2015. "Economic analysis of deforestation reduction in Brazil," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211378, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Bosello, Francesco & Orecchia, Carlo & Raitzer, David A., 2016. "Decarbonization Pathways in Southeast Asia: New Results for Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam," MITP: Mitigation, Innovation,and Transformation Pathways 250260, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    10. Hübler, Michael & Voigt, Sebastian & Löschel, Andreas, 2014. "Designing an emissions trading scheme for China—An up-to-date climate policy assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 57-72.
    11. Calvin, Katherine & Clarke, Leon & Krey, Volker & Blanford, Geoffrey & Jiang, Kejun & Kainuma, Mikiko & Kriegler, Elmar & Luderer, Gunnar & Shukla, P.R., 2012. "The role of Asia in mitigating climate change: Results from the Asia modeling exercise," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S3), pages 251-260.
    12. Xu, Xianshuo & Zhao, Tao & Liu, Nan & Kang, Jidong, 2014. "Changes of energy-related GHG emissions in China: An empirical analysis from sectoral perspective," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 298-307.
    13. Lu, Yingying & Stegman, Alison & Cai, Yiyong, 2013. "Emissions intensity targeting: From China's 12th Five Year Plan to its Copenhagen commitment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1164-1177.
    14. Nejat, Payam & Morsoni, Abdul Kasir & Jomehzadeh, Fatemeh & Behzad, Hamid & Saeed Vesali, Mohamad & Majid, M.Z.Abd., 2013. "Iran's achievements in renewable energy during fourth development program in comparison with global trend," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 561-570.
    15. Bosello, Francesco & Marangoni, Giacomo & Orecchia, Carlo & Raitzer, David A. & Tavoni, Massimo, 2016. "The Cost of Climate Stabilization in Southeast Asia, a Joint Assessment with Dynamic Optimization and CGE Models," MITP: Mitigation, Innovation,and Transformation Pathways 251810, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    16. Friedrichs, Jörg & Inderwildi, Oliver R., 2013. "The carbon curse: Are fuel rich countries doomed to high CO2 intensities?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1356-1365.
    17. Calvin, Katherine & Fawcett, Allen & Kejun, Jiang, 2012. "Comparing model results to national climate policy goals: Results from the Asia modeling exercise," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S3), pages 306-315.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; Mitigation; China; Greenhouse gases; Fossil fuels;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q47 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy Forecasting
    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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