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Emission implications of long-term climate targets - a work-in-progress report -. Michel den Elzen (RIVM, the Netherlands) Malte Meinshausen (ETH Zurich, Switzerland). Side Event COP-10 13th December 2004 Buenos Aires. Introduction.

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emission implications of long term climate targets a work in progress report

Emission implications of long-term climate targets - a work-in-progress report -

Michel den Elzen (RIVM, the Netherlands)

Malte Meinshausen (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

Side Event COP-10 13th December 2004 Buenos Aires

slide2

Introduction

  • Part 1: Why 2°C ? What CO2 level corresponds with a 2°C target?
  • Part 2: The method to derive emission pathways with cost-effective multi-gas mixes of reductions.
  • Part 3:What are the (regional) emission reduction targets?
  • Part 4: What is the impact of further delay?
eu s 2 c target
EU’s 2°C target
  • “[...] the Council believes that global average temperatures should not exceed 2 degrees above pre-industrial level and that therefore concentration levels lower than 550 ppm CO2 should guide global limitation and reduction efforts.[...]”(1939th Council meeting, Luxembourg, 25 June 1996)
  • “REAFFIRMS that, with a view to meeting the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [...] to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, overall global annual mean surface temperature increase should not exceed 2°C above pre-industrial levels in order to limit high risks, including irreversible impacts of climate change; RECOGNISES that 2°C would already imply significant impacts on ecosystems and water resources [...]”(2610th Council Meeting, Luxembourg, 14 October 2004 Council 2004, 25-26 March 2004)
expected warming for 550ppm co 2 eq
Expected warming for ~550ppm CO2eq

Climate Sensitivity ...

... summarizes key uncertainties in climate science

... is the expected average warming of the earth’s surface for a doubling of CO2 concentrations (about 550 ppm CO2)

slide9

Background: Difference between CO2 and CO2equivalence

  • “CO2equivalence” summarizes the climate effect (‘radiative forcing’) of all human-induced greenhouse-gases and aerosols, as if we only changed the atmospheric concentrations of CO2.
  • Like “bread exchange” units for food or “tonnes oil equivalent (toe)” for energy sources.
expected warming for 550ppm co 2 eq1
Expected warming for ~550ppm CO2eq
  • New research cannot exclude very high warming levels (e.g. > 4.5°C) for stabilization of greenhouse gases at 550ppm CO2–eq.
  • “The fact that we are uncertain may actually be a reason to act sooner rather than later” (Eileen Claussen)
slide13

Conclusions Part 1

  • 550 ppm CO2 equivalence is “unlikely” to meet the 2°C target
  • The risk to overshoot 2°C can be substantially reduced for lower stabilization levels.
  • There is about a fifty:fifty chance to meet 2°C by stabilizing at 450ppm
  • There is a “likely” achievement of the 2°C target for stabilization at 400ppm CO2eq (risk to overshoot 2°C is about 25%).
  • Dependent on climate sensitivity PDF
slide15

Method: FAIR-SiMCaP

  • FAIR (RIVM)
    • Calculates the emission allowances and abatement costs of post-2012 regimes
    • Here we use the cost-model:
      • cost-optimal mixes of greenhouse gas for total reductions (6 GHGs) every 5 year periods
      • least costs approach using on MAC curves
      • Not over time
  • SiMCaP (ETH Zurich)
    • calculates parameterised emission pathways to achieve predefined climate targets, like 400ppm CO2eq
    • Climate calculations by simple climate model
slide17

Basic assumptions

  • Three baseline scenarios:
    • IMAGE-B1 (IPCC B1, MACs B1 & LUCF: B1)
    • CPI (middle IPCC, MACs CPI & LUCF: CPI)
    • CPI+tech (MACs additional technological improvements) & LUCF: B1)
  • Rationale behind CPI+tech:
    • Current studies show more abatements are possible
    • More optimistic, simple assumptions for the MACs

(e.g. energy CO2 MACs now additional improvement of 0.2%/year)

slide18

Basic assumptions (continued)

  • In order to avoid global emission reduction rates exceeding 3%/year, the default scenarios assume early reductions. Peak of global emissions in 2015-2020
  • Early peaking is technically feasible, costs not too high, but … political willingness?
  • Focus on CO2-equivalent concentration stabilisation levels of 400, 450, 500 and 550 ppm
  • The lower concentration levels include overshooting:
        • Stabilisation at 400 ppm: Peaking at 480 ppm;
        • Stabilisation at 450 ppm: Peaking at 500 ppm;
        • Stabilisation at 500 ppm: Peaking at 525 ppm;
slide19

Cost-optimal reduction over GHGs

  • Main focus on energy-related CO2 reductions
  • In short terms, potentially large incentives for sinks and non-CO2 GHGs (cheap options)
slide24

Conclusions Part 2

  • Presented multi-gas scenarios are roughly within the range of existing mitigation scenarios.
  • The applied method reflects the existing policy-framework and assumes cost-minimizing achievements of targets in each 5 year period:
    • This results in near-term incentives for non-CO2 reductions and for sinks
    • But in the long-term the focus has to be on reductions in CO2 emissions
change of global ghg emissions incl lucf co 2 emissions compared to 1990 level in
Change of global GHG emissions (incl. LUCF CO2 emissions) compared to 1990 level (in %)
  • In 2020, global emissions may increase from 10-25% above 1990 levels (400-450ppm).
  • In 2050, the emissions have to be reduced by 30-60%
change of global ghg emissions excl lucf co 2 emissions compared to 1990 level in
Change of global GHG emissions (excl. LUCF CO2 emissions) compared to 1990 level (in %)
  • If landuse CO2 emissions decrease, then reduction needs for the Kyoto gas emissions only (without landuse CO2) are relaxed by about 10%-15%.
  • By 2050,  20-45% below 1990 levels (400-450ppm).
slide32

Conclusions Part 3 (Global)

  • Overall global emissions (Kyoto gas emissions + landuse CO2):
    • 400ppm CO2eq: 50% to 60% below 1990 by 2050
    • 450ppm CO2eq: 30% to 40% below 1990 by 2050
  • Assuming landuse CO2 emission decrease as specified, needed global Kyoto gas emissions reductions are less:
    • 400ppm CO2eq: 35% to 45% below 1990 by 2050
    • 450ppm CO2eq: 15% to 25% below 1990 by 2050
slide33

Conclusions Part 3 (Regional)

  • Focusing on Kyoto gas emissions excluding landuse emissions:
    • In 2020, Annex I emissions need to be reduced ~ 30% below 1990 levels for 400ppm, and ~15% 450ppm.
  • The reductions are differentiated amongst the Parties, Annex I takes the lead, followed by the more advance developing countries, and then the low-income countries.
  • For meeting the lower concentration levels major developing countries have to participate in the reductions between 2015 and 2025
slide38

Conclusions Part 4

  • A delay of global action of just five years matters.
  • Global emissions will have to peak in 10 to 15 years to limit the risk of overshooting 2°C to reasonable levels.
  • The consequence of delay are:
    • Lower absolute emissions after around 2040
    • Steeper maximal reduction rates already from 2020 / 2025
  • “Delaying action for a decade, or even just years, is not a serious option” (Sir David King, Sience,9 January 2004)
slide40

Overall conclusions

  • Multi-gas mitigation pathways
  • 550 ppm CO2 eq. is “unlikely” to meet the 2°C target
  • Limiting the risk to overshoot 2°C to less then 33% requires stabilization at approximately 400ppm.
  • It seems necessary, that global emissions peak before 2020 to achieve 400 or 450ppm stabilization levels. Cost of delay potentially very high.
  • This is followed by reductions in the order of 30% to 60% (incl. land use CO2 emissions) in 2050 compared to 1990 levels (450/400ppm CO2eq).
slide41

Overall conclusions (continued)

  • Regional emission reductions depend on:
    • emissions growth in the baseline
    • allocation scheme for differentiated commitments
    • abatement potential and reduction costs
  • In 2020, Annex I emission need to be approximately 30% below 1990 levels for 400ppm, and approximately 20% lower for 450ppm stabilization.
  • For meeting the lower concentration levels, major developing countries have to participate in the reductions between 2015 and 2025
reminder disclaimer
Reminder - Disclaimer
  • The presented work is part of a longer term project.
    • Cost estimates, in particular non-fossil CO2, will be explored in more detail (implementation barriers).
    • Cost of delayed pathways will be explored with dynamic energy model TIMER (inertia, technological improvements, forgone learning effects)
  • Work in progress
slide43

Thank you!

  • Contact:
    • michel.den.elzen@rivm.nl
    • malte.meinshausen@ethz.ch
    • Presentation will be made available from
      • www.rivm.nl/ieweb/
      • www.simcap.org