Implications of various effort-sharing approaches for national carbon budgets and emission pathways

Nicole J. van den Berg, Heleen L. van Soest, Andries F. Hof, Michel G.J. den Elzen, Detlef P. van Vuuren, Wenying Chen, Laurent Drouet, Johannes Emmerling, Shinichiro Fujimori, Niklas Höhne, Alexandre C. Kõberle, David McCollum, Roberto Schaeffer, Swapnil Shekhar, Saritha Sudharmma Vishwanathan, Zoi Vrontisi, Kornelis Blok

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Abstract

The bottom-up approach of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the Paris Agreement has led countries to self-determine their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. The planned ‘ratcheting-up’ process, which aims to ensure that the NDCs comply with the overall goal of limiting global average temperature increase to well below 2 °C or even 1.5 °C, will most likely include some evaluation of ‘fairness’ of these reduction targets. In the literature, fairness has been discussed around equity principles, for which many different effort-sharing approaches have been proposed. In this research, we analysed how country-level emission targets and carbon budgets can be derived based on such criteria. We apply novel methods directly based on the global carbon budget, and, for comparison, more commonly used methods using GHG mitigation pathways. For both, we studied the following approaches: equal cumulative per capita emissions, contraction and convergence, grandfathering, greenhouse development rights and ability to pay. As the results critically depend on parameter settings, we used the wide authorship from a range of countries included in this paper to determine default settings and sensitivity analyses. Results show that effort-sharing approaches that (i) calculate required reduction targets in carbon budgets (relative to baseline budgets) and/or (ii) take into account historical emissions when determining carbon budgets can lead to (large) negative remaining carbon budgets for developed countries. This is the case for the equal cumulative per capita approach and especially the greenhouse development rights approach. Furthermore, for developed countries, all effort-sharing approaches except grandfathering lead to more stringent budgets than cost-optimal budgets, indicating that cost-optimal approaches do not lead to outcomes that can be regarded as fair according to most effort-sharing approaches.

LanguageEnglish
JournalClimatic Change
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Feb 2019

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carbon budget
carbon emission
greenhouse gas
bottom-up approach
cost
equity
contraction
mitigation

Cite this

van den Berg, N. J., van Soest, H. L., Hof, A. F., den Elzen, M. G. J., van Vuuren, D. P., Chen, W., ... Blok, K. (2019). Implications of various effort-sharing approaches for national carbon budgets and emission pathways. Climatic Change. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02368-y
van den Berg, Nicole J. ; van Soest, Heleen L. ; Hof, Andries F. ; den Elzen, Michel G.J. ; van Vuuren, Detlef P. ; Chen, Wenying ; Drouet, Laurent ; Emmerling, Johannes ; Fujimori, Shinichiro ; Höhne, Niklas ; Kõberle, Alexandre C. ; McCollum, David ; Schaeffer, Roberto ; Shekhar, Swapnil ; Vishwanathan, Saritha Sudharmma ; Vrontisi, Zoi ; Blok, Kornelis. / Implications of various effort-sharing approaches for national carbon budgets and emission pathways. In: Climatic Change. 2019.
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abstract = "The bottom-up approach of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the Paris Agreement has led countries to self-determine their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. The planned ‘ratcheting-up’ process, which aims to ensure that the NDCs comply with the overall goal of limiting global average temperature increase to well below 2 °C or even 1.5 °C, will most likely include some evaluation of ‘fairness’ of these reduction targets. In the literature, fairness has been discussed around equity principles, for which many different effort-sharing approaches have been proposed. In this research, we analysed how country-level emission targets and carbon budgets can be derived based on such criteria. We apply novel methods directly based on the global carbon budget, and, for comparison, more commonly used methods using GHG mitigation pathways. For both, we studied the following approaches: equal cumulative per capita emissions, contraction and convergence, grandfathering, greenhouse development rights and ability to pay. As the results critically depend on parameter settings, we used the wide authorship from a range of countries included in this paper to determine default settings and sensitivity analyses. Results show that effort-sharing approaches that (i) calculate required reduction targets in carbon budgets (relative to baseline budgets) and/or (ii) take into account historical emissions when determining carbon budgets can lead to (large) negative remaining carbon budgets for developed countries. This is the case for the equal cumulative per capita approach and especially the greenhouse development rights approach. Furthermore, for developed countries, all effort-sharing approaches except grandfathering lead to more stringent budgets than cost-optimal budgets, indicating that cost-optimal approaches do not lead to outcomes that can be regarded as fair according to most effort-sharing approaches.",
author = "{van den Berg}, {Nicole J.} and {van Soest}, {Heleen L.} and Hof, {Andries F.} and {den Elzen}, {Michel G.J.} and {van Vuuren}, {Detlef P.} and Wenying Chen and Laurent Drouet and Johannes Emmerling and Shinichiro Fujimori and Niklas H{\"o}hne and K{\~o}berle, {Alexandre C.} and David McCollum and Roberto Schaeffer and Swapnil Shekhar and Vishwanathan, {Saritha Sudharmma} and Zoi Vrontisi and Kornelis Blok",
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van den Berg, NJ, van Soest, HL, Hof, AF, den Elzen, MGJ, van Vuuren, DP, Chen, W, Drouet, L, Emmerling, J, Fujimori, S, Höhne, N, Kõberle, AC, McCollum, D, Schaeffer, R, Shekhar, S, Vishwanathan, SS, Vrontisi, Z & Blok, K 2019, 'Implications of various effort-sharing approaches for national carbon budgets and emission pathways', Climatic Change. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02368-y

Implications of various effort-sharing approaches for national carbon budgets and emission pathways. / van den Berg, Nicole J.; van Soest, Heleen L.; Hof, Andries F.; den Elzen, Michel G.J.; van Vuuren, Detlef P.; Chen, Wenying; Drouet, Laurent; Emmerling, Johannes; Fujimori, Shinichiro; Höhne, Niklas; Kõberle, Alexandre C.; McCollum, David; Schaeffer, Roberto; Shekhar, Swapnil; Vishwanathan, Saritha Sudharmma; Vrontisi, Zoi; Blok, Kornelis.

In: Climatic Change, 14.02.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Implications of various effort-sharing approaches for national carbon budgets and emission pathways

AU - van den Berg, Nicole J.

AU - van Soest, Heleen L.

AU - Hof, Andries F.

AU - den Elzen, Michel G.J.

AU - van Vuuren, Detlef P.

AU - Chen, Wenying

AU - Drouet, Laurent

AU - Emmerling, Johannes

AU - Fujimori, Shinichiro

AU - Höhne, Niklas

AU - Kõberle, Alexandre C.

AU - McCollum, David

AU - Schaeffer, Roberto

AU - Shekhar, Swapnil

AU - Vishwanathan, Saritha Sudharmma

AU - Vrontisi, Zoi

AU - Blok, Kornelis

PY - 2019/2/14

Y1 - 2019/2/14

N2 - The bottom-up approach of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the Paris Agreement has led countries to self-determine their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. The planned ‘ratcheting-up’ process, which aims to ensure that the NDCs comply with the overall goal of limiting global average temperature increase to well below 2 °C or even 1.5 °C, will most likely include some evaluation of ‘fairness’ of these reduction targets. In the literature, fairness has been discussed around equity principles, for which many different effort-sharing approaches have been proposed. In this research, we analysed how country-level emission targets and carbon budgets can be derived based on such criteria. We apply novel methods directly based on the global carbon budget, and, for comparison, more commonly used methods using GHG mitigation pathways. For both, we studied the following approaches: equal cumulative per capita emissions, contraction and convergence, grandfathering, greenhouse development rights and ability to pay. As the results critically depend on parameter settings, we used the wide authorship from a range of countries included in this paper to determine default settings and sensitivity analyses. Results show that effort-sharing approaches that (i) calculate required reduction targets in carbon budgets (relative to baseline budgets) and/or (ii) take into account historical emissions when determining carbon budgets can lead to (large) negative remaining carbon budgets for developed countries. This is the case for the equal cumulative per capita approach and especially the greenhouse development rights approach. Furthermore, for developed countries, all effort-sharing approaches except grandfathering lead to more stringent budgets than cost-optimal budgets, indicating that cost-optimal approaches do not lead to outcomes that can be regarded as fair according to most effort-sharing approaches.

AB - The bottom-up approach of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the Paris Agreement has led countries to self-determine their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. The planned ‘ratcheting-up’ process, which aims to ensure that the NDCs comply with the overall goal of limiting global average temperature increase to well below 2 °C or even 1.5 °C, will most likely include some evaluation of ‘fairness’ of these reduction targets. In the literature, fairness has been discussed around equity principles, for which many different effort-sharing approaches have been proposed. In this research, we analysed how country-level emission targets and carbon budgets can be derived based on such criteria. We apply novel methods directly based on the global carbon budget, and, for comparison, more commonly used methods using GHG mitigation pathways. For both, we studied the following approaches: equal cumulative per capita emissions, contraction and convergence, grandfathering, greenhouse development rights and ability to pay. As the results critically depend on parameter settings, we used the wide authorship from a range of countries included in this paper to determine default settings and sensitivity analyses. Results show that effort-sharing approaches that (i) calculate required reduction targets in carbon budgets (relative to baseline budgets) and/or (ii) take into account historical emissions when determining carbon budgets can lead to (large) negative remaining carbon budgets for developed countries. This is the case for the equal cumulative per capita approach and especially the greenhouse development rights approach. Furthermore, for developed countries, all effort-sharing approaches except grandfathering lead to more stringent budgets than cost-optimal budgets, indicating that cost-optimal approaches do not lead to outcomes that can be regarded as fair according to most effort-sharing approaches.

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DO - 10.1007/s10584-019-02368-y

M3 - Article

JO - Climatic Change

T2 - Climatic Change

JF - Climatic Change

SN - 0165-0009

ER -