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How Low Can We Go? The Implications of Delayed Ratcheting and Negative Emissions Technologies on Achieving Well Below 2 °C

Winning, M; Pye, S; Glynn, J; Scamman, D; Welsby, D; (2018) How Low Can We Go? The Implications of Delayed Ratcheting and Negative Emissions Technologies on Achieving Well Below 2 °C. In: Giannakidis, G and Karlsson, K and Labriet, M and Ó Gallachó, B, (eds.) Limiting Global Warming to Well Below 2 °C: Energy System Modelling and Policy Development. (pp. 51-65). Springer: Cham, Switzerland. Green open access

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Abstract

Pledges embodied in the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) represent an interim step from a global “no policy” path towards an optimal long-term global mitigation path. However, the goals of the Paris Agreement highlight that current pledges are insufficient. It is, therefore, necessary to ratchet-up parties’ future mitigation pledges in the near-term. The ambitious goals of remaining well below 2 °C and pursuing reductions towards 1.5 °C mean that any delay in ratcheting-up commitments could be extremely costly or may even make the targets unachievable. In this chapter, we consider the impacts of delaying ratcheting until 2030 on global emissions trajectories towards 2 °C and 1.5 °C, and the role of offsets via negative emissions technologies (NETs). The analysis suggests that delaying action makes pursuing the 1.5 °C goal especially difficult without extremely high levels of negative emissions technologies (NETs), such as carbon capture and storage combined with bioenergy (BECCS). Depending on the availability of biomass, other NETs beyond BECCS will be required. Policymakers must also realise that the outlook for fossil fuels are closely linked to the prospects for NETs. If NETs cannot be scaled, the levels of fossil fuels suggested in this analysis are not compatible with the Paris Agreement goals i.e. there are risks of lock-in to a high fossil future. Decision makers must, therefore, comprehend fully the risks of different strategies.

Type: Book chapter
Title: How Low Can We Go? The Implications of Delayed Ratcheting and Negative Emissions Technologies on Achieving Well Below 2 °C
ISBN-13: 978-3-319-74423-0
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-74424-7_4
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74424-7_4
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049533
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