|Working Group III: Mitigation|
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2.3.2 Quantitative Characteristics of Mitigation Scenarios
From the large number of mitigation scenarios, a selection must be made in order to clarify in a manageable way the quantitative characteristics of mitigation scenarios. One of the efficient ways to analyze them is to focus on a typical mitigation target. As the most frequently studied mitigation target is the 550ppmv stabilization scenario, a total of 31 stabilization scenarios adopting that target were selected along with their baseline (reference or non-intervention) scenarios in order to analyze the characteristics of the stabilization scenarios as well as their baselines5. Figure 2.2 shows these baseline scenarios, and Figure 2.3 shows the mitigation scenarios for 550ppmv stabilization. (The sources and scenario names are noted in Appendix 2.1).
22.214.171.124 Characteristics of Baseline Scenarios
In order to analyze the characteristics of stabilization scenarios, it is very important to identify the features of the baseline scenarios that have been used for mitigation quantification. Although the general characteristics of non-intervention scenarios have already been analyzed in the SRES (Nakicenovic et al., 2000), more specific analyses are conducted here, focusing on the baseline scenarios that have been used for 550ppmv stabilization quantification.
First, it is clear that the range of CO2 emissions in baseline scenarios used for 550ppmv stabilization quantification is very wide at the global level, as shown in Figure 2.2. The maximum levels of CO2 emissions represent more than ten times the current levels, while the minimum level represents four times current levels. The range of baseline scenarios covers the upper half of the total range of the database, and most of them were estimated to be larger than IS92a (IPCC 1992 scenario a). This means that the baseline scenarios used for the 550ppmv stabilization analyses have a very wide range and are high relative to other studies.
This divergence can be explained by the Kaya identity (Kaya, 1990), which separates
CO2 emissions into three factors: gross domestic product (GDP), energy
intensity, and carbon intensity6:
Figure 2.4 shows these factors. For comparability of the factors, which were not harmonized to be the same number among models in the base year of 1990, all the values are indexed to 1990 levels. CO2 emissions are mostly determined by energy consumption. This, in turn, is determined by the levels of GDP, energy intensity, and carbon intensity. However, the ranges of GDP and of carbon intensities in the scenarios are larger than the range of energy intensities. This suggests that the large range of CO2 emissions in the scenarios is primarily a reflection of the large ranges of GDP and carbon intensity in the scenarios. Thus, the assumptions made about economic growth and energy supply result in huge variations in CO2 emission projections.
These characteristics are also observed in regional scenarios. For example, in both the OECD and non-OECD scenarios, CO2, GDP, energy intensity, and carbon intensity have wide ranges, and in particular, the range among scenarios for the non-OECD nations is wider than the range among scenarios for OECD nations. In addition, the growth of CO2 emissions in non-OECD nations is generally larger than the growth of emissions in OECD nations. This is mainly caused by higher GDP growth in the non-OECD countries.
With regard to regional comparisons, it is very difficult to come to any general conclusions, as the ranges involved in the regional scenarios are extraordinarily large. Moreover, with the exception of the USA, Europe, the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and China, the number of available scenarios is limited. However, some general trends can be identified that are associated with the medium ranges of the scenarios: for Asian countries, GDP growth is the most significant factor, resulting in high levels of energy use and CO2 emissions; energy efficiency improvements are the most significant factor in the scenarios for China; and carbon intensity reductions are very high in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, because of drastic energy mix changes.
Other interesting characteristics at the global level can be identified in the relationships among GDP, energy intensity, and carbon intensity. Figure 2.5 shows a scatter plot of GDP growth rate versus energy intensity reduction from the baseline scenarios. As might be expected, the energy intensity reduction is higher with a higher GDP growth rate, while a lower energy intensity reduction is associated with a lower GDP growth rate. This relationship suggests that high economic growth scenarios assume high levels of progress in end-use technologies.Unlike energy intensity reductions, carbon intensity reductions in the models are apparently seen as largely independent of economic growth and consequently are a function of societal choices, including energy and environmental policies. The scenarios do not show any clear relationship between energy intensity reduction and carbon intensity reduction. The values depend on regional characteristics in energy systems and technology combinations. Energy intensity reduction can include many measures other than fuel shifting. Most of the efficiency measures will result in lower carbon emissions, and fuel shifts from high-carbon to low- or non-carbon fuels can increase the efficiency of energy systems in many cases. However, carbon intensity reductions can also lead to reduced efficiency in energy systems, as in the case of shifts to biomass gasification or liquefaction, or result in increased energy consumption, as in the case of industrial carbon sequestration.
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