Yes, but weren’t climate pledge goals always out of reach?

From the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Continuing with pledge pathways to 2030 could push climate goals out of reach

Current pledges for greenhouse gas emission reductions are inadequate and will further increase the challenge to reach internationally agreed climate targets, according to new research from a global consortium of 13 international research teams coordinated by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research (PIK).

In the absence of a global agreement on emission limits, countries instead have made voluntary pledges to reduce their emissions by 2020 with the current negotiations trying to establish international agreements for emissions reductions for the year 2030. The mitigation effort of the 2020 pledges made by countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change would result in significantly higher emissions in 2030 than what would be cost-effective in order to reach the long-term climate targets acknowledged by that treaty, according to a new study by research teams from Europe, Asia and the United States published in the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

“The gap between where emissions are and where emissions would need to be in order to keep climate targets within reach is getting bigger and bigger,” says IIASA Energy Program Leader Keywan Riahi, lead author of the paper published today. “Our study brings together the leading research teams in the field to systematically assess the implications of this gap.”

The researchers find that adherence to the pledges would result in global emissions between 53 and 61 GTCO2e for the year 2030. While it could still be possible to meet targets starting from those levels, the options for mitigation then become much more limited and much more expensive. The new research examines the long-term implications of the short-term delay: How much would we need to cut emissions

after 2030 in order to meet the 2°C target? How much would it cost? What technologies would be needed? “AMPERE has explored the interaction between short term climate action and long term climate targets in unprecedented detail. It clearly shows that the more hesitant our actions are today, the more limited our options will be tomorrow.” says Elmar Kriegler, senior scientist at PIK and leader of the AMPERE project.

The study finds that starting from pledge pathway levels in 2030, emissions would need to decline much more quickly after 2030 in order to meet the 2°C target. That means, for example that new coal power plants built in the next few years may need to be shut down before their natural lifetime—at great cost to investors and governments.

The researchers also find difficult implications for technology with a delay in emissions cuts: The speed of deployment for carbon-neutral energy sources would need to be three times as high starting at pledge-pathway levels for 2030. The choices for energy technology also become more limited – while it could currently be possible to meet climate targets without relying on carbon capture technologies to store carbon underground, delaying climate action until 2030 will most likely leave no choice but to apply these technologies at large scale.

“There is not much time to fundamentally change the system, considering that more than half of the energy worldwide would need to come from climate friendly technologies by 2050. Our results indicate that this can be achieved at relatively modest costs if mitigation started today. Delays will not only increase the cost significantly, but would require also a global energy transformation at a pace that will be historically unprecedented” says Riahi.

###

The new study is an overview of the results from the AMPERE (Assessment of Climate Change Mitigation Pathways and Evaluation of the Robustness of Mitigation Cost Estimates) project funded under the FP7 framework of the European Commission, to be published in a special issue of Technological Forecasting & Social Change. It combines state-of-the-art energy and economics models and so-called integrated assessment models to explore possible pathways for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, along with costs of following those paths.

Reference

Riahi, K., E. Kriegler, N. Johnson, C. Bertram, M. Den Elzen, J. Eom, M. Schaeffer, J. Edmonds, M. Isaac, V. Krey, T. Longden, G. Luderer, A. Mejean, D. McCollum, S. Mima, H. Turton, D. P. van Vuuren, D. Wada, V. Bosetti, P. Capros, P. Criqui, M. Hamdi-Cherif, M. Kainuma, O. Edenhofer. 2013. Locked into Copenhagen pledges – Implications of short-term emission targets for the cost and feasibility of long-term climate goals. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Doi: 10.1016.j.techfore.2013.09.016 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162513002539

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31 Responses to Yes, but weren’t climate pledge goals always out of reach?

  1. kim says:

    All aboard, the train is leaving the station.
    ======

  2. Mike M says:

    I just replaced a 75W light bulb with a 60W; potentially a 20% reduction of that light socket’s carbon emissions! That’ll bring down earth’s temperature by, roughly, 10^-11 degrees (Rankine) in about 500 years. I’ve done my part – where’s my gold star?

  3. michael hart says:

    “Our study brings together the leading research teams in the field to systematically assess the implications of this gap.”

    Ahhh….. that sounds suspiciously like someone wielding their own personal “state of the art model”. Is there anyone at the IPCC who doesn’t describe their flawed model as “state of the art”?

  4. AleaJactaEst says:

    I invoke Willis’ Law which states that the quality of a paper is inversely related to the number of authors. In this case 24. Nuff said.

  5. Admad says:

    Isn’t this a bit of a waste of effort, given the increasing likelihood of at least a Dalton Minimum event by 2050?

  6. Col Mosby says:

    The illusion that the climate is solely beholden to carbon emissions and further, that carbon emissions are under our total control.

  7. wbrozek says:

    “The gap between where emissions are and where emissions would need to be in order to keep climate targets within reach is getting bigger and bigger,”

    The gap between where global temperatures are and where models suggest they should be is getting bigger and bigger.

  8. Doug Proctor says:

    “There is not much time to fundamentally change the system …:

    There is the rub: climate changes due to fossil fuel usage can’t be prevented – we are not talking about mitigation here – without radically changing the system. And outside of a global dictatorship/totalitarian regime that forces changes on Europe, America and – Lord forbid – China and India, that is not going to happen.

    The eco-green Potsdam and fellow-travellers are the worst type of revolutionaries, the armchair type. They will promote things without getting their feet dirty, push without knowing where those in front of them will end up. At best, they are incomplete, “raising consciousness” is their actual goal, without recognizing that what they shout about some will take seriously.

    It is a good thing for the skeptics that these people are so utopian in their dreams: “fundamentally change the system” will not occur. It is a bad thing for the skeptics, however, as they will never put themselves into a falsifiable or put-up-or-shut-up position that would make them an annoying irrelevancy of ivory-tower ranters to the general public and political elite.

  9. What the heck is the International Institute for Applied Systems ?
    Sounds like an international Quackademic/Quackitist tax funded disaster
    So full of Gaia love and concern: “There is not much time to fundamentally change the system, considering that more than half of the energy worldwide would need to come from climate friendly technologies by 2050″

    Oh right so act now to change our technologically-errant ways to please Pretty Happy Dude degree holders at yet another waste-of-money- climate org er fraud. Good Christ who isn’t sick of these clowns or sorry, ‘scientists’.

  10. GlynnMhor says:

    We’re doing pretty well on the climate front for the last decade and more.

    With the current temperature trend approximating zero we’re not going to reach +2 any time soon.

  11. steveta_uk says:

    Looks like the Potsdam Institute didn’t get the news that they are now being ignored.

    See here

  12. Mike M says:

    Speaking of ‘gaps’…. We had visionaries back in 1964 who realized the potential benefits of using computer models to determine our fate:

    “It could easily be accomplished with a computer. And a computer could be set and programmed to accept factors from youth, health, sexual fertility, intelligence, and a cross-section of necessary skills. Of course, it would be absolutely vital that our top government and military men be included to foster and impart the required principles of leadership and tradition. Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh?”

  13. Eliza says:

    Looks like the whole AGW has now become a total joke and NEARLY ALL the messages here are mainly (sarcastic) jokes hahahahaha! (see above postings)

  14. Dave H-O says:

    Quote: “AMPERE has explored the interaction between short term climate action and long term climate targets in unprecedented detail.”

    Translation: “After considering our record of abject failure to predict anything correctly, and our credibility that is eroding at world record pace, we spent a whole lot of time thinking about where the line was between ‘unbelievable’, and ‘scary enough to get people to shut up and do what we said’. We really hope that we got it right this time, because that damned PAUSE thing continues to make us look stupid, and we don’t have many more opportunities left.”

    And the intelligent people of the world hear, “Blah, blah, blah, blah…..”

  15. Bugs Man says:

    Give us a break – please. The CAGW hypothesis is a busted flush.

    The arrogance among policy makers (i.e. tax collectors) that man can defeat solar system variables is beyond belief. Except, of course, it’s not beyond the belief of many politicians who see a vote-winner; grasping researchers who see a tax-payer sponorship; and ctrl-C ctrl-V ‘journalists’ hungry for promotion, so long as CO2 and climate change are in the title. Oh – I almost forgot – add celebs to the mix. Any ‘Save/Stop the ______’ will do.

    The problem with this blog/forum, and all similar, is that we are self-supporting ‘denialists’, patting ourselves on the back for being so, yet changing virtually nothing. The challenge now is to broaden the message, and educate, but how, on a budget of “4/5 of a 5/8 Whitworth of FA”*?

    I genuinely do not have the answer. Do you? Over to you all for suggestions. Somehow we have to take the message to the electorates, and only spend 4/5 of a 5/8 Whitworth of FA in so doing.

    *The phrase a dear friend on the Zambian Copperbelt taught me prior to his tragic & premature death. Here’s to you Pete. You would never had accepted this ‘climate change can be contolled’ BS.

    PS Re suggestions: Nuking any of Al Gore’s mansions whilst he entertains Mikey Mann would be counter productive, so forget it. It would simply add 1 more nuke to the SKS mob’s 4 Hiroshima bombs per second App.

    For 1 second.

    And that is statistically significant …. Oh, wait….

  16. Zeke says:

    “AMPERE has explored the interaction between short term climate action and long term climate targets in unprecedented detail. It clearly shows that the more hesitant our actions are today, the more limited our options will be tomorrow.” says Elmar Kriegler, senior scientist at PIK and leader of the AMPERE project.”

    We can agree on this analysis. People will not accept the impoverishment of sustatinable energy and agricultural policies once frakking and other genuine technologies bring energy prices down by 50%, and as world food output is 5xs greater on much less land. Nitrogen fertilizers and new cultivars have done this already, but heartless environmentalist activists seek to reverse innovation and keep it from reaching Africa.

    Another reason their “options will be more limited tomorrow” is because God willing people will know there is nothing wrong with co2 from electricity generation and transportation, methane from dairy cows, and nitrous oxide from rice, wheat, and corn – and refrigeration and private mobility is not hurting the planet either.

  17. catweazle666 says:

    The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research?

    Oh, are they still about?

  18. Steve Keohane says:

    wbrozek says:December 3, 2013 at 9:07 am
    “The gap between where emissions are and where emissions would need to be in order to keep climate targets within reach is getting bigger and bigger,”

    The gap between where global temperatures are and where models suggest they should be is getting bigger and bigger.

    Exactly, the first thought that occurred to me. As time goes on, the slope of temperature, sea level rise, etc. must get ever steeper to arrive at the Catastrophists’ target in less time.

  19. Jimbo says:

    AMPERE has explored the interaction between short term climate action and long term climate targets in unprecedented detail. It clearly shows that the more hesitant our actions are today, the more limited our options will be tomorrow.”

    Firstly, there is no need to do anything. Sorry, we should do something – increase out co2 output, it’s good for the planet. Secondly, how do they know what our options will be in 2030?

    Back in the late 19th century there was great wailing and gnashing of teeth over the horse manure problem in London and New York. An international conference was called but they decided the problem just could not be fixed. Projections were made of higher and higher poop levels. The rest, as they say, is history.

    “The Great Horse-Manure Crisis of 1894″
    http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-great-horse-manure-crisis-of-1894#axzz2mRH53Urt

  20. A.D. Everard says:

    Looks to me like a case of “If the threat of heat doesn’t frighten them, the gap might.” They are trying to keep us scared so it’s back to “But time is running out!”

  21. Jim Clarke says:

    We have an imaginary problem generated by computer models. Now we have studied this imaginary problem with ‘unprecedented detail’ using other computer models. It seems to me that we need to some have some computer models that generate imaginary solutions. We could have the Justice League Model. The Ruby Slippers Model. The Bewitched Model The Stargate SG1 Model. The Gandalf/Stridder Model. The Fred and Ginger Model. The I-Dream-Of-Genie Model. The Skywalker/Solo Model. The Batman Model. The Hunger Games Model. And my personal favorite: The Kirk/Spoke Model, which generates climate change solutions using the Enterprise arriving from the future with a couple of sperm whales to stabilize the atmosphere.

    The imaginary solutions to this imaginary problem could be endless! Each one more entertaining than the next. Then we could do ensemble runs where Dorothy and Spock make a surprisingly effective couple or Gandalf teams up with Genie and Samantha Stevens and is never seen again!

    Whoever thought that solving imaginary problems could be so much fun?

    And the best part is that the real world can then finally return its attention to addressing real world problems. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  22. Mike M says:

    Jimbo says: Back in the late 19th century there was great wailing and gnashing of teeth over the horse manure problem in London and New York.

    And those weren’t the only cities. A great-uncle of mine told me about the STENCH in most major cities in the summertime ~110 years ago, (Pittsburgh in his case). Before widespread use of electricity and fossil fueled engines there was heat, horses and a LOT of flies. Every day of the week the horses had to haul huge amounts of ice and perishable food into the cities for distribution no matter how hot it was and yes they were greatly abused in the process. “Beating a dead horse” was likely no mere metaphor or idiom back then.

    Climate alarmists want us to go back to the days of whipping horses to do the work.

  23. Jimbo says:

    Munich Re has been in the global warming game since the 1970s. Below you will find the Potsdam Institute and Munich Re in bed with each other. The Potsdam Institute is heavily compromised. Pierre Gosselin has their number.

    The PIK and Munich RE working hand-in-hand

    Readers may ask just where is Munich RE getting it’s “science”? Well, here’s one report it used in the past…written by Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Science in the service of Big Bilkers scaring clients.

    Warren Buffet and the Munich RE
    http://notrickszone.com/2012/10/19/the-local-munich-re-profiteering-from-climate-change-scare-stories-based-on-quasi-scientific-reports/

    and….

    The Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) was launched by Munich Re in April 2005 in response to the growing realisation that insurance-related solutions can support the adaptation to climate change advocated in the Framework Convention and Kyoto Protocol.

    MCII was founded by representatives of Germanwatch, IIASA, Munich Re, the Munich Re Foundation, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (SLF), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Tyndall Centre, the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the World Bank, and independent experts. The group is open to new members (e.g. representatives of other insurance or reinsurance companies, climate change and adaptation experts, NGOs and policy researchers) seeking solutions to the risks posed by climate change.
    http://unfccc.int/adaptation/knowledge_resources/databases/partners_action_pledges/items/5005txt.php?detail=j&id=93&nwp=org&dirc=ASC&seite=1&anf=0&show_all=j&organisation=&region=&sector=&del_activity=&work_area=&cl_hazard=

    Munich Re and global warming 1973.
    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/11/18/lawrence-solomon-insured-disaster/

  24. Jeff L says:

    Solution to the “gap” in CO2 reductions = a more realistic sensitivity of something less than 2 = target temps met.

    The “pause” continues to show a lower sensitivity is far more likely than the scary high estimates used in this analysis

  25. Khwarizmi says:

    The Australian pledge is still on, despite all the unfounded and irrational celebration that occurred around here following the election of our new dictator.
    “Australia’s Pollution Plan Starts to Look Like Trading”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-01/australia-s-pollution-plan-starts-to-look-like-trading.html
    Three cheers for the new dictator – he’s a “conservative” – woo hoo!

  26. Gary Pearse says:

    I don’t recognize any name plate climate scientists on the list of authors. these guys must be IPCC bureaucrats attached from their gov jobs. I guess they haven’t received the memo on the 17 yr pause and the possibility we could be cooler by 2030.

  27. Bruce Cobb says:

    Pssstt….here is some climate snakeoil, which you need, or you are doomed. If you buy it now, it’s only a $trillion dollars, and may wreak havoc with worldwide economies, but if you wait, the price will double and have even more damaging effects. So don’t wait; buy now.

  28. DirkH says:

    Khwarizmi says:
    December 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm
    “The Australian pledge is still on, despite all the unfounded and irrational celebration that occurred around here following the election of our new dictator.”

    As he has been elected and is now a dictator, he must have abolished free elections. Funny that I missed that. Did the Canberra Cangaroo Court burn down?

    Let’s see what Jo Nova has to say about it. You seem to be a disgruntled Gillardist.

  29. gnomish says:

    robust, unprecedented, climate friendly, model, teams
    BINGO!

  30. ferdberple says:

    Mike M says:
    December 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm
    Climate alarmists want us to go back to the days of whipping horses to do the work.
    ===========
    most folks are quite unaware of how much energy there is in a gallon gasoline as compared to say for instance, the wall socket that you would plug your electric car into.

    They think, well, I could just plug my car in and run it for a few cents a day. Until they find out the total electricity your house uses in a day is about the same energy as 1 gallon of gasoline. And how far will 1 gallon of gasoline take you? About as far as an electric car.

    house electricity = 1 gallon/gas/day

  31. Brian H says:

    Unachievable, unserious, and unimportant. Except for the mischief they do and will cause.

Comments are closed.