Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Continuing with pledge pathways to 2030 could push climate goals out of reach

Date:
December 3, 2013
Source:
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Summary:
Current pledges for greenhouse gas emission reductions are inadequate and will further increase the challenge to reach internationally agreed climate targets, according to new research.

Current pledges for greenhouse gas emission reductions are inadequate and will further increase the challenge to reach internationally agreed climate targets, according to new research from a global consortium of 13 international research teams coordinated by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research (PIK).

In the absence of a global agreement on emission limits, countries instead have made voluntary pledges to reduce their emissions by 2020 with the current negotiations trying to establish international agreements for emissions reductions for the year 2030. The mitigation effort of the 2020 pledges made by countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change would result in significantly higher emissions in 2030 than what would be cost-effective in order to reach the long-term climate targets acknowledged by that treaty, according to a new study by research teams from Europe, Asia and the United States published in the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

"The gap between where emissions are and where emissions would need to be in order to keep climate targets within reach is getting bigger and bigger," says IIASA Energy Program Leader Keywan Riahi, lead author of the paper published today. "Our study brings together the leading research teams in the field to systematically assess the implications of this gap."

The researchers find that adherence to the pledges would result in global emissions between 53 and 61 GTCO2e for the year 2030. While it could still be possible to meet targets starting from those levels, the options for mitigation then become much more limited and much more expensive. The new research examines the long-term implications of the short-term delay: How much would we need to cut emissions

after 2030 in order to meet the 2C target? How much would it cost? What technologies would be needed? "AMPERE has explored the interaction between short term climate action and long term climate targets in unprecedented detail. It clearly shows that the more hesitant our actions are today, the more limited our options will be tomorrow." says Elmar Kriegler, senior scientist at PIK and leader of the AMPERE project.

The study finds that starting from pledge pathway levels in 2030, emissions would need to decline much more quickly after 2030 in order to meet the 2C target. That means, for example that new coal power plants built in the next few years may need to be shut down before their natural lifetime -- at great cost to investors and governments.

The researchers also find difficult implications for technology with a delay in emissions cuts: The speed of deployment for carbon-neutral energy sources would need to be three times as high starting at pledge-pathway levels for 2030. The choices for energy technology also become more limited -- while it could currently be possible to meet climate targets without relying on carbon capture technologies to store carbon underground, delaying climate action until 2030 will most likely leave no choice but to apply these technologies at large scale.

"There is not much time to fundamentally change the system, considering that more than half of the energy worldwide would need to come from climate friendly technologies by 2050. Our results indicate that this can be achieved at relatively modest costs if mitigation started today. Delays will not only increase the cost significantly, but would require also a global energy transformation at a pace that will be historically unprecedented" says Riahi.

The new study is an overview of the results from the AMPERE (Assessment of Climate Change Mitigation Pathways and Evaluation of the Robustness of Mitigation Cost Estimates) project funded under the FP7 framework of the European Commission, to be published in a special issue of Technological Forecasting & Social Change. It combines state-of-the-art energy and economics models and so-called integrated assessment models to explore possible pathways for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, along with costs of following those paths.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Riahi, K., E. Kriegler, N. Johnson, C. Bertram, M. Den Elzen, J. Eom, M. Schaeffer, J. Edmonds, M. Isaac, V. Krey, T. Longden, G. Luderer, A. Mejean, D. McCollum, S. Mima, H. Turton, D. P. van Vuuren, D. Wada, V. Bosetti, P. Capros, P. Criqui, M. Hamdi-Cherif, M. Kainuma, O. Edenhofer. Locked into Copenhagen pledges – Implications of short-term emission targets for the cost and feasibility of long-term climate goals. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2013 DOI: 10.1016.j.techfore.2013.09.016

Cite This Page:

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. "Continuing with pledge pathways to 2030 could push climate goals out of reach." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131203110318.htm>.
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. (2013, December 3). Continuing with pledge pathways to 2030 could push climate goals out of reach. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131203110318.htm
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. "Continuing with pledge pathways to 2030 could push climate goals out of reach." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131203110318.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins