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National and Sectoral GHG Mitigation Potential: A Comparison Across Models

Author

Listed:
  • Christa Clapp

    (OECD)

  • Katia Karousakis

    (OECD)

  • Barbara Buchner

    (International Energy Agency)

  • Jean Château

    (OECD)

Abstract

Determining comparability of effort between mitigation actions and targets proposed by different countries is an ongoing issue for international climate negotiations. A number of indicators have been proposed to reflect comparability of effort and differences in national circumstances; key amongst these are greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (per capita), GDP per capita, as well as GHG mitigation potential. This paper focuses on mitigation potential to provide a comparative assessment between six OECD member economies: Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, Mexico and the US. GHG mitigation potential is defined to be the level of GHG emission reductions that could be realised, relative to the projected emission baseline in a given year, for a given carbon price. Data for the selected countries were obtained across the time horizon of 2005-2050 from a total of 19 models, including models that are used to inform climate policy-makers in each of these economies. The paper examines the implications of model structure, and assesses how baseline scenarios vary between the models, before analysing the GHG mitigation potential estimates. GHG mitigation potential is compared for carbon prices of USD 20, 50 and 100/tCO2e. For an assumed carbon price of USD 50/tCO2e, mitigation potential in Japan is estimated to be relatively lower than for the other five economies, ranging from 5-20% emission reduction from baseline in 2020. Although noticeably fewer models report data for Mexico at this price level, the models show deeper potential reductions in the range of 25-37% at the same carbon price. Mitigation potential estimates for Australia, Canada and the US show a wider range of 14-39% reduction relative to 2020 baselines. The EU shows a relatively tighter range of 16-29% emission reductions to 2020. The results of this study show greater emission reduction potentials in the year 2050 than in the year 2020 across the six economies examined, reflecting structural and technical changes that occur over time, including the availability of carbon capture and storage from 2030. In general, the paper finds closer agreement across the models for mitigation potential in 2020 than for later years, reflecting greater uncertainty as projections extend into the future. La question de la comparabilité des objectifs fixés par les différents pays en matière d’atténuation, et des mesures prises pour les atteindre, reste d’actualité dans les négociations internationales sur le climat. Une série d’indicateurs ont été proposés pour évaluer la possibilité de comparer les efforts déployés et les disparités dues aux spécificités nationales ; parmi ces indicateurs figurent, au premier chef, les émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES) par habitant, le PIB par habitant et le potentiel d’atténuation des GES. La présente étude s’intéresse principalement à ce dernier facteur et livre une comparaison entre six économies de l’OCDE : Australie, Canada, États-Unis, Japon, Mexique et Union européenne. Par potentiel d’atténuation, on entend le niveau de réduction des émissions de GES qu’il a été possible d’atteindre, par rapport aux quantités d’émissions prévues dans le scénario de référence pour une année donnée, et pour un prix donné du carbone. Les données relatives aux pays choisis ont été obtenues pour la période 2005-2050, à partir de 19 modèles au total, dont certains servent à informer les responsables des politiques climatiques de ces économies. Le document examine les implications de la structure des modèles, ainsi que les variations entre les scénarios de référence des différents modèles, avant d’analyser les estimations du potentiel d’atténuation des GES. La comparaison entre les potentiels d’atténuation des GES se fonde sur des prix du carbone fixés à 20, 50 et 100 USD/t éq. CO2. Pour un prix établi à 50 USD/t éq. CO2, on estime que ce potentiel est plus faible au Japon que dans les cinq autres économies, où la réduction des émissions devrait se situer en 2020 entre 5 et 20 % par rapport au scénario de référence. Les modèles fournissant des données sur le Mexique -- sensiblement moins nombreux pour ce niveau de prix -- font apparaître des possibilités de réduction plus importantes, comprises entre 25 et 37 % pour un prix identique du carbone. Les estimations effectuées pour l’Australie, le Canada et les États-Unis révèlent une fourchette plus large, le potentiel de réduction allant de 14 à 39 % par rapport aux scénarios de référence pour 2020. S’agissant de l’UE, l’éventail est relativement plus resserré, puisque les réductions se situent entre 16 et 29 % à l’horizon 2020. Les conclusions de cette étude font ressortir un potentiel de réduction des émissions plus élevé en 2050 qu’en 2020 pour les six économies considérées, en raison d’évolutions structurelles et techniques intervenant au fil du temps, et notamment grâce à la possibilité de piéger et de stocker le carbone à partir de 2030. De manière générale, le document montre que les modèles relatifs au potentiel d’atténuation présentent davantage de points communs en 2020 que dans les années ultérieures, signe que les incertitudes sont plus marquées dès lors que les projections portent sur des périodes plus éloignées.

Suggested Citation

  • Christa Clapp & Katia Karousakis & Barbara Buchner & Jean Château, 2009. "National and Sectoral GHG Mitigation Potential: A Comparison Across Models," OECD/IEA Climate Change Expert Group Papers 2009/7, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:envaab:2009/7-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k453xgpqp9w-en
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    Cited by:

    1. Kesicki, Fabian, 2013. "What are the key drivers of MAC curves? A partial-equilibrium modelling approach for the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 142-151.
    2. Anthony Heyes & Dylan Morgan & Nicholas Rivers, 2013. "The Use of a Social Cost of Carbon in Canadian Cost-Benefit Analysis," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 39(s2), pages 67-80, August.
    3. Ha, Yuejiao & Teng, Fei, 2013. "Midway toward the 2 degree target: Adequacy and fairness of the Cancún pledges," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 856-865.
    4. repec:wsi:ccexxx:v:04:y:2013:i:04:n:s2010007813400125 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Flachsland, Christian & Brunner, Steffen & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Creutzig, Felix, 2011. "Climate policies for road transport revisited (II): Closing the policy gap with cap-and-trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 2100-2110, April.
    6. Anna Creti & Alena Kotelnikova & Guy Meunier & Jean-Pierre Ponssard, 2015. "Defining The Abatement Cost In Presence Of Learning-By-Doing: Application To The Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle," Working Papers hal-01158461, HAL.
    7. Michel Elzen & Niklas Höhne & Markus Hagemann & Jasper Vliet & Detlef Vuuren, 2010. "Sharing developed countries’ post-2012 greenhouse gas emission reductions based on comparable efforts," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 433-465, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    baselines; changement climatique; climate change; comparability; gaz à effet de serre; greenhouse gas; mitigation potential;

    JEL classification:

    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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