8 February 2018

FEEM Publishes in Nature

Source: Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Removing fossil subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped, and it will not boost renewable energy use significantly. These are the conclusions reached in the article “Limited emission reductions from fuel subsidy removal except in energy exporting regions” led by J. Jewell (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) and co-authored by FEEM researchers J. Emmerling, L. Berger and M. Tavoni and published in Nature.

The study suggests that by 2030 CO2 emissions would only be 1-5% lower than if subsidies are maintained, which is significantly less than the climate pledges made under the Paris climate agreement. Although the global effect on emissions is low, the impact varies between regions. For the big oil and gas exporting countries, the impact of removing fuel subsidies could be even sufficient to fulfill their pledges under the Paris agreement. However, for developing countries, where more subsidies go to those living below the poverty line, removing subsidies has a smaller effect on emissions. Additionally, for those at lower-incomes, removing subsidies may make the switch from unsubsidized firewood and charcoal to modern fuels out of reach.

The publication is an output of the EU-funded project on Advanced Model Development and Validation for Improved Analysis of Costs and Impacts of Mitigation Policies (ADVANCE) coordinated by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Link to Nature article 

J. Emmerling, L. Berger, M. Tavoni
FEEM Climate and Sustainable Innovation Program

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), founded in 1989, is a non profit, policy-oriented, international research center and a think-tank producing high-quality, innovative, interdisciplinary and scientifically sound research on sustainable development. It contributes to the quality of decision-making in public and private spheres through analytical studies, policy advice, scientific dissemination and high-level education. Thanks to its international network, FEEM integrates its research and dissemination activities with those of the best academic institutions and think tanks around the world.

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