ELIA contributed to a chapter entitled Energy Policy Planning for Climate-Resilient Low-Carbon Development, in Energy Policy Modelling in the 21st Century (Hassan Qudrat-Ullah, Ed.), Springer, New York, 2013.
ABSTRACT – Energy Policy Planning for Climate-Resilient Low-Carbon Development, by Andrea M. Bassi, Prakash (Sanju) Deenapanray, and Prof. Pål Davidsen:
“Climate change has emerged as arguably the biggest threat facing human development in the twenty-first century. The current stock of atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) is large enough to cause climate change and climate variability. International efforts have been undertaken to stabilize atmospheric GHGs and to limit average global temperature rise to 2 °C (Randall, WIREs Clim. Chang. 1:598–605, 2010). If current emissions continue unabated, it is expected that the temperature rise will be between 4 °C and 6 °C; that can be reached towards the end of this century. Under this “do nothing” scenario, all nations would be losers. It is, therefore, in humanity’s interest to do something about the current state of affairs. Although adapting to climate change and climate variability is important, the safest adaptation would be large-scale reduction in atmospheric GHG emissions. It has been shown recently that limiting global temperature increase to 2 °C above pre-industrial levels could be achieved through the “wedging the gap” approach consisting of 21 coherent major initiatives that together would trigger greenhouse gas emission reductions of around 10 Gt CO2e by 2020, plus the benefits of enhanced reductions in air-pollutant emissions (Blok, Höhne, van der Leun, Harrison, Nat. Clim. Chang. 2:471–474, 2012). Emissions reductions can be achieved broadly through a combination of: (1) policy measures that provide for financial and economic incentives (e.g., feed-in tariffs for renewable energies) or disincentives (e.g., carbon tax), and (2) market-based mechanisms such as carbon trading, both of which would be required to implement the “wedging the gap” approach. Further, this novel approach would require unprecedented global scale coordination and cooperation.”