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 2C 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 lifetimeat 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.
|Contact: Katherine Leitzell|
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis