19 December 2012
Ged Davis, GEA Co-President
Nebojsa Nakicenovic, GEA Director; IIASA Deputy Director
Prof. Dr. Detlef van Vuuren, Lead Author, GEA Chapter 17, Energy Pathways for Sustainable Development, and professor in Integrated Assessment of Global Environmental Change at the Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University
Ged Davis introduced the GEA, describing the product as an integrated picture of the energy landscape, allowing the analysis to highlight the co-benefits of policies designed to achieve climate and air quality goals as well as sustainable energy aims. The 2000-page document was prepared and reviewed by energy experts from around the world, with at total of over 300 authors and 200 reviewers; over 6000 reviewers’ comments were incorporated in the final report. The GEA is not unlike the IPCC in terms of its range of knowledge and its goal of determining an expert consensus on critical issues, but the crucial difference is that energy was the entry point, rather than climate.
Nebojsa Nakicenovic offered a presentation summarizing the results of the GEA analyses. He explained that the GEA set up normative goals for a sustainable future, regarding global energy access, limiting greenhouse gas emissions to a 2 degree rise, and improved air quality.
With respect to global energy access, the GEA estimated that $40 billion per year over 40 years could resolve all access problems in Southern Africa and India, an outcome that fed into UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) goal of energy access for the entire world by 2030, along with doubling efficiency and doubling renewable energy use. GEA analyses demonstrate that these goals are aspirational, but not impossible. Meeting these three goals would lead to a global temperature rise of 3 degrees.
The GEA also presents global Carbon budgets and reserves, and explores technological options and the investments required to meet the normative climate goals.
Detlef van Vuuren’s presentation focused on the key energy scenarios presented in the GEA, which uses two different model systems (MESSAGE and IMAGE) to define pathways that meet key energy, climate, and air pollution/health impact goals. He emphasized the requirements for meeting the EU’s 2 degree targets. He contrasted the GEA pathways – which develop pathway scenarios that meet the GEA goals -- with the analyses in the UNEP-GAP report, which is a deterministic formulation based on scenarios in the literature. He explained the GEA analyses of energy policies and the ramifications of different constructions of pathways. The GEA focus on outcomes, with variations in the construction of policy and technology pathways, particularly with respect to efficiency scenarios, offers more flexibility, and more choice, in meeting climate goals. This contrasts with analyses that focus on “demand side”, which limits choices. The
The questions and discussion highlighted the areas in which GEA offers singular insights:
Last edited: 08 October 2013
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