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Emission scenarios in the face of fossil-fuel peaking


  • Brecha, Robert J.


Emissions scenarios used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are based on detailed energy system models in which demographics, technology and economics are used to generate projections of future world energy consumption, and therefore, of greenhouse gas emissions. We propose in this paper that it is useful to look at a qualitative model of the energy system, backed by data from short- and medium-term trends, to gain a sense of carbon emission bounds. Here we look at what may be considered a lower bound for 21st century emissions given two assumptions: first, that extractable fossil-fuel resources follow the trends assumed by "peak oil" adherents, and second, that no climate mitigation policies are put in place to limit emissions. If resources, and more importantly, extraction rates, of fossil fuels are more limited than posited in full energy-system models, a supply-driven emissions scenario results; however, we show that even in this "peak fossil-fuel" limit, carbon emissions are high enough to surpass 550 ppm or 2 °C climate protection guardrails. Some indicators are presented that the scenario presented here should not be disregarded, and comparisons are made to the outputs of emission scenarios used for the IPCC reports.

Suggested Citation

  • Brecha, Robert J., 2008. "Emission scenarios in the face of fossil-fuel peaking," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 3492-3504, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:9:p:3492-3504

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Iñigo Capellán-Pérez & Mikel González-Eguino & Iñaki Arto & Alberto Ansuategi & Kishore Dhavala & Pralit Patel & Anil Markandya, 2014. "New climate scenario framework implementation in the GCAM integrated assessment model," Working Papers 2014-04, BC3.
    2. Steve Newbold & Charles Griffiths & Christopher C. Moore & Ann Wolverton & Elizabeth Kopits, 2010. "The "Social Cost of Carbon" Made Simple," NCEE Working Paper Series 201007, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2010.
    3. Rahman, Farahiyah Abdul & Aziz, Md Maniruzzaman A. & Saidur, R. & Bakar, Wan Azelee Wan Abu & Hainin, M.R & Putrajaya, Ramadhansyah & Hassan, Norhidayah Abdul, 2017. "Pollution to solution: Capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) and its utilization as a renewable energy source for a sustainable future," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 112-126.
    4. Ward, James D. & Mohr, Steve H. & Myers, Baden R. & Nel, Willem P., 2012. "High estimates of supply constrained emissions scenarios for long-term climate risk assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 598-604.
    5. Höök, M. & Söderbergh, B. & Aleklett, K., 2009. "Future Danish oil and gas export," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 1826-1834.
    6. Höök, Mikael & Tang, Xu, 2013. "Depletion of fossil fuels and anthropogenic climate change—A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 797-809.
    7. Verbruggen, Aviel & Al Marchohi, Mohamed, 2010. "Views on peak oil and its relation to climate change policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 5572-5581, October.
    8. Pereira, Alfredo M. & Pereira, Rui M., 2014. "On the environmental, economic and budgetary impacts of fossil fuel prices: A dynamic general equilibrium analysis of the Portuguese case," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 248-261.
    9. Robert J. Brecha, 2013. "Ten Reasons to Take Peak Oil Seriously," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 1-31, February.
    10. Howden-Chapman, Philippa & Viggers, Helen & Chapman, Ralph & O’Sullivan, Kimberley & Telfar Barnard, Lucy & Lloyd, Bob, 2012. "Tackling cold housing and fuel poverty in New Zealand: A review of policies, research, and health impacts," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 134-142.
    11. Capellán-Pérez, Iñigo & Mediavilla, Margarita & de Castro, Carlos & Carpintero, Óscar & Miguel, Luis Javier, 2014. "Fossil fuel depletion and socio-economic scenarios: An integrated approach," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 641-666.
    12. Chiari, Luca & Zecca, Antonio, 2011. "Constraints of fossil fuels depletion on global warming projections," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5026-5034, September.
    13. repec:eee:energy:v:140:y:2017:i:p1:p:1276-1291 is not listed on IDEAS

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