Logo of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
To the main menuTo the main content

2 °C and 1.5 °C scenarios and possibilities of limiting the use of BECCS and bio-energy

Report | 07-12-2018

This report presents a set of scenarios that limit global warming to below 2 °C and 1.5 °C, by either using full-technology reduction options as included in the IMAGE and POLES models, or by limiting the use of bio-energy in energy production and combining it with carbon capture and storage. Under these scenarios, global emission reductions by 2050 will be between about 50% and 65% for the 2 °C target and 70% to 80% for 1.5 °C, compared to 1990 levels.

There are technically feasible scenarios that limit global warming to below 2 °C or further down to 1.5 °C

The 2 °C and 1.5 °C scenarios were assessed using the IMAGE (PBL) and POLES (JRC) models. The scenarios include the option of a full portfolio of technologies being available. Such scenarios rely on rapid and deep emission reductions that are achieved through a mix of i) energy efficiency improvements, ii) low-carbon energy options, iii) negative emission options (e.g. bio-energy with CCS (BECCS) and afforestation), and iv) reduction in non-CO2 gases. Negative emissions play a substantial role in these full technology scenarios. It should, however, be noted that negative emission options may require large amounts of land.

It is technically possible to achieve stringent climate goals and rely less on negative emissions and bio-energy

Alternative scenarios that rely less on BECCS and bio-energy have also been explored. Less reliance on BECCS can be achieved, for instance, through further penetration of renewable energy, rapid energy efficiency improvements, lifestyle changes, more reforestation and a more rapid reduction in non-CO2 gases. The scenario results, on both a global and EU level, have been used in the European Commission’s Long-term strategy document, which calls for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.


Author(s)Kendall Esmeijer, Michel den Elzen, David Gernaat, Detlef van Vuuren, Jonathan Doelman, Kimon Keramidas, Stéphane Tchung-Ming, Jacques Després, Andreas Schmitz, Nicklas Forsell, Petr Havlik, Stefan Frank
Report no.3133
Publication date07-12-2018