An important direction of climate change research in the Energy (ENE) Program is the focus on near-term climate policies and their implications for the feasibility and costs of meeting long-term climate objectives.
This work in 2013 involved an in-depth evaluation of current international climate agreements, such as the Copenhagen Accord and Cancún Agreements.
Within the framework of the AMPERE project, ENE in 2013 led the multi-model comparison effort involving international partners from Asia, the United States and Europe to evaluate the impact of near-term climate policies.
More than 300 scenarios were developed by the teams in 2011-2012, and results of this major collaborative effort appeared in 2013 as a special issue in the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change, for which ENE Program Leader Keywan Riahi served as Managing Guest Editor.
In the overview paper of the issue, ENE researchers Riahi, Nils Johnson, Volker Krey, and David McCollum summarized the findings of the study and explained how delayed mitigation from current climate agreements up to 2030 must be compensated for by much deeper emissions reductions in the medium and long-term if targets like the 2˚C are to be achieved later in the century .
Of particular concern is the rate of energy system transformation required between 2030 and 2050 and the eventual reliance on substantial negative emissions. As a result, less-aggressive actions in the near term lead to greater reliance on technologies that can achieve negative emissions (e.g., biomass with CCS), greater risk that stringent long-term targets (e.g., 2˚C warming) will not be attainable, and larger mitigation costs over the full century.
 Riahi K, Kriegler E, Johnson N, Bertram C, den Elzen M, Eom J, Schaeffer M, Edmonds J, Isaac M, Krey V, Longdon T, Luderer G, Mejean A, McCollum DL, Mima S, Turton H, van Vuuren DP, Wada K, Bosetti V, Capros P, Criqui P, Kainuma M, (2013). Locked into Copenhagen pledges—Implications of short-term emission targets for the cost and feasibility of long-term climate goals. Special Issue on the difficult road to global cooperation on climate change: The AMPERE study on staged accession scenarios for climate policy, (in press), Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2013.09.016.
Last edited: 22 May 2014
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