It is not possible to unambiguously translate the objective of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (i.e. to avoid dangerous anthropogenic climate change) into greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration targets. One reason is that the relationship between climate impacts and GHG concentration targets is beset with uncertainties. In addition, subjective choices play an important role. These choices are concerned with, for instance, estimates of the ability to adapt to various forms of climate change and risk avoidance in relation to future generations.
In order to limit global mean temperature increase to less than 2°C, long-term greenhouse gas concentrations must remain low. This paper discusses how such low concentrations can be reached, based on results from the IMAGE modelling framework (including TIMER and FAIR). We show that the attainability of low greenhouse gas concentration targets, in particular 450 and 400 ppm CO2 equivalent critically depends on model assumptions, such as bio-energy potentials. Under standard model assumptions, these targets can be reached, although the lowest requires the use of bio-energy in combination with carbon-capture-and-storage. Regions are affected differently by ambitious climate policies in terms of energy and land use, although stringent emission reductions will be required in all regions. Resulting co-benefits of climate policy (such as energy security and air pollution) are also different across world regions.
Related articles in this special issue of The Energy Journal
- Managing the Low-Carbon Transition - From Model Results to Policies
- Bio-Energy Use and Low Stabilization Scenarios
- The Economics of Low Stabilization: Model Comparison of Mitigation Strategies and Costs
More information on ADAM project
ADAM supports the EU in the development of post-2012 global climate policies, the definition of European mitigation policies to reach its 2020 goals, and the emergence of new adaptation policies for Europe with special attention to the role of extreme weather events.
- Publication title
- Low stabilization scenarios and implications for major world regions from an integrated assessment perspective
- Publication date
- 15 June 2010
- Publication type
- Energy Journal 31(special issue 1):165-92
- Product number