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Long-term Transport Energy Demand and Climate Policy: Alternative Visions on Transport Decarbonization in Energy Economy Models

  • Robert Pietzcker

    (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Thomas Longden, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change)

  • Thomas Longden

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change)

  • Wenying Chen

    (3E (Energy, Environment and Economy) Research Institute, Tsinghua University)

  • Sha Fu

    (National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC))

  • Elmar Kriegler

    (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

  • Page Kyle

    (Joint Global Change Research Institute, Paci?c Northwest National Laboratory)

  • Gunnar Luderer

    (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

Transportation accounts for a substantial share of CO2 emissions, and decarbonizing transport will be necessary to limit global warming to below 2°C. Due to persistent reliance on fossil fuels, it is posited that transport is more difficult to decarbonize than other sectors. We test this hypothesis by comparing long-term transport energy demand and emission projections for China, USA and the World from five large-scale energy-economy models with respect to three climate policies. We systematically analyze mitigation levers along the chain of causality from mobility to emissions, and discuss structural differences between mitigation in transport and non-transport sectors. We can confirm the hypothesis that transport is difficult to decarbonize with purely monetary signals when looking at the period before 2070. In the long run, however, the three global models achieve deep transport emission reductions by >90% through the use of advanced vehicle technologies and carbon-free primary energy; especially biomass with CCS plays a crucial role. Compared to the global models, the two partial-equilibrium models are relatively inflexible in their reaction to climate policies. Across all models, transportation mitigation lags behind non-transport mitigation by 10-30 years. The extent to which earlier mitigation is possible strongly depends on implemented technologies and model structure.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2013.08.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.08
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