Impact of Revised CO2 Growth Projections for China on Global Stabilization Goals

17 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2008

See all articles by Geoffrey J. Blanford

Geoffrey J. Blanford

Electric Power Research Institute

Richard G. Richels

Electric Power Research Institute, U.S.A.

Thomas F. Rutherford

Centre for Energy Policy and Economics

Date Written: September 3, 2008

Abstract

Recent growth in carbon dioxide emissions from China's energy sector has exceeded expectations. In a major US government study of future emissions released in 2007 (1), participating models appear to have substantially underestimated the near-term rate of increase in China's emissions. We present a recalibration of one of those models to be consistent with both current observations and historical development patterns. The implications of the new specification for the feasibility of commonly discussed stabilization targets, particularly when considering incomplete global participation, are profound. Unless China's emissions begin to depart soon from their (newly projected) business-as-usual path, stringent stabilization goals may be unattainable. The current round of global policy negotiations must engage China and other developing countries, not to the exclusion of emissions reductions in the developed world and possibly with the help of significant financial incentives, if such goals are to be achieved. It is in all nations' interests to work cooperatively to limit our interference with the global climate.

Keywords: Energy-Economy Modeling, China, Economic Growth Rates, Energy Intensity, International Climate Policy

JEL Classification: Q48, H23, O13

Suggested Citation

Blanford, Geoffrey J. and Richels, Richard and Rutherford, Thomas F., Impact of Revised CO2 Growth Projections for China on Global Stabilization Goals (September 3, 2008). FEEM Working Paper No. 68.2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1262747 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1262747

Geoffrey J. Blanford (Contact Author)

Electric Power Research Institute ( email )

3412 Hillview Avenue
P.O. Box 10412
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1395
United States

Richard Richels

Electric Power Research Institute, U.S.A. ( email )

3412 Hillview Avenue
P.O. Box 10412
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1395
United States
415-855-2602 (Phone)
415-855-1080 (Fax)

Thomas F. Rutherford

Centre for Energy Policy and Economics ( email )

ETH-Zentrum
Zurich, CH-8092
United States
+41 (0)44/632 6359 (Phone)
+41 (0)44/632 1622 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cepe.ethz.ch/

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