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Assessing the Feasibility of Global Long-Term Mitigation Scenarios

Author

Listed:
  • Ajay Gambhir

    () (Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AA, UK)

  • Laurent Drouet

    () (Fondazione Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), Corso Magenta 63, 20123 Milan, Italy
    Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Corso Magenta 63, 20123 Milan, Italy)

  • David McCollum

    () (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria)

  • Tamaryn Napp

    () (Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AA, UK)

  • Dan Bernie

    () (Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon EX1 3PB, UK)

  • Adam Hawkes

    () (Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK)

  • Oliver Fricko

    () (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria)

  • Petr Havlik

    () (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria)

  • Keywan Riahi

    () (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
    Institute of Thermal Engineering, Graz University of Technology, Infeldgasse 25b, 8010 Graz, Austria)

  • Valentina Bosetti

    () (Fondazione Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), Corso Magenta 63, 20123 Milan, Italy
    Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Corso Magenta 63, 20123 Milan, Italy
    Department of Economics, Bocconi University, 20136 Milan, Italy)

  • Jason Lowe

    () (Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon EX1 3PB, UK)

Abstract

This study explores the critical notion of how feasible it is to achieve long-term mitigation goals to limit global temperature change. It uses a model inter-comparison of three integrated assessment models (TIAM-Grantham, MESSAGE-GLOBIOM and WITCH) harmonized for socio-economic growth drivers using one of the new shared socio-economic pathways (SSP2), to analyse multiple mitigation scenarios aimed at different temperature changes in 2100, in order to assess the model outputs against a range of indicators developed so as to systematically compare the feasibility across scenarios. These indicators include mitigation costs and carbon prices, rates of emissions reductions and energy efficiency improvements, rates of deployment of key low-carbon technologies, reliance on negative emissions, and stranding of power generation assets. The results highlight how much more challenging the 2 °C goal is, when compared to the 2.5–4 °C goals, across virtually all measures of feasibility. Any delay in mitigation or limitation in technology options also renders the 2 °C goal much less feasible across the economic and technical dimensions explored. Finally, a sensitivity analysis indicates that aiming for less than 2 °C is even less plausible, with significantly higher mitigation costs and faster carbon price increases, significantly faster decarbonization and zero-carbon technology deployment rates, earlier occurrence of very significant carbon capture and earlier onset of global net negative emissions. Such a systematic analysis allows a more in-depth consideration of what realistic level of long-term temperature changes can be achieved and what adaptation strategies are therefore required.

Suggested Citation

  • Ajay Gambhir & Laurent Drouet & David McCollum & Tamaryn Napp & Dan Bernie & Adam Hawkes & Oliver Fricko & Petr Havlik & Keywan Riahi & Valentina Bosetti & Jason Lowe, 2017. "Assessing the Feasibility of Global Long-Term Mitigation Scenarios," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(1), pages 1-31, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jeners:v:10:y:2017:i:1:p:89-:d:87753
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vanessa Schweizer & Brian O’Neill, 2014. "Systematic construction of global socioeconomic pathways using internally consistent element combinations," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 431-445, February.
    2. Anandarajah, Gabrial & Gambhir, Ajay, 2014. "India’s CO2 emission pathways to 2050: What role can renewables play?," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 79-86.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jeners:v:10:y:2017:i:5:p:602-:d:97289 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:appene:v:238:y:2019:i:c:p:351-367 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sheridan Few & Ajay Gambhir & Tamaryn Napp & Adam Hawkes & Stephane Mangeon & Dan Bernie & Jason Lowe, 2017. "The Impact of Shale Gas on the Cost and Feasibility of Meeting Climate Targets—A Global Energy System Model Analysis and an Exploration of Uncertainties," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(2), pages 1-22, January.
    4. repec:gam:jeners:v:12:y:2019:i:9:p:1747-:d:229353 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change mitigation; low-carbon scenarios; mitigation feasibility;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • Q47 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy Forecasting
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q49 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Other

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