Nature Climate Change releases today one of the most comprehensive assessments of the timing and amount of greenhouse gas emissions for each of the world's major economies, considering both currently discussed pledges and scenarios that limit future temperature rise to 2°C.
The study is the result of a three year research project led by FEEM and involving six research institutions with their different modeling tools, as summarised in the 2-minute videos below, and more extensively in a press release and a dedicated Policy Brief also released today.
Different global emission pathways can be compatible with the 2°C target, meaning that there is some flexibility in the timing of emission reductions. However, cumulative global emissions over the 21st century must be kept within a tight budget. The technical and economic challenges of transitioning to a pathway that can achieve the necessary long-term emission reductions are exacerbated if the transition is delayed, as illutstrated in Section 1 of the Policy Brief.
Important factors are the differences between national policies in the near term, the regional baseline emissions in the long term, regional economic capabilities, and the availability of mitigation options. Section 2 of the Policy Brief details these regional factors and the potential regional mitigation patterns.
It is possible to pursue both efficiency and equity goals by harmonizing international carbon pricing mechanisms while allocating emission allowances based on equity principles. The mitigation burden of disadvantaged regions can also be addressed through dedicated financial support for the required low-carbon investments. Examples for burden sharing approaches and a discussion of regional implications are provided in Section 3 of the Policy Brief.
The 4th video and Section 4 of the Policy Brief on the sizeable co-benefits of mitigation policies will be released in 2015, once the related article currently under review in a peer reviewed journal is published.
Disclaimer: the results reported in this re3 article were produced within the LIMITS project "Low climate IMpact scenarios and the Implications of required Tight emission control Strategies" funded by the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement n° 282846 (LIMTS). This article is the sole responsiblity of the LIMITS Project and does not represent the opinion of the European Community nor is the European community responsible for any use that might be made of the data appearing herein.
LIMITS policy brief
FEEM, PIK, IIASA, and PBL joint press release