Implications of the international reduction pledges on long-term energy system changes and costs in China and India

Paul L. Lucas, P.R. Shukla, Wenying Chen, Bas J. van Ruijven, Subash Dhar, Michel G.J. den Elzen, Detlef P. van Vuuren

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    This paper analyses the impact of postponing global mitigation action on abatement costs and energy systems changes in China and India. It compares energy-system changes and mitigation costs from a global and two national energy-system models under two global emission pathways with medium likelihood of meeting the 2 1C target: a least-cost pathway and a pathway that postpones ambitious mitigation action, starting from the Copenhagen Accord pledges. Both pathways have similar 2010–2050
    cumulative greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis shows that postponing mitigation action increases the lock-in in less energy efficient technologies and results in much higher cumulative mitigation costs. The models agree that carbon capture and storage (CCS) and nuclear energy are important mitigation technologies, while the shares of biofuels and other renewables vary largely over the models. Differences between India and China with respect to the timing of emission reductions and the choice of mitigation measures relate to differences in projections of rapid economic change, capital stock turnover and technological development. Furthermore, depending on the way it is implemented, climate policy could increase indoor air pollution, but it is likely to provide synergies for energy security. These relations should be taken into account when designing national climate policies. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnergy Policy
    Pages (from-to)1032–1041
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Copenhagen pledges
    • Two degrees
    • Energy dynamics


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