March 25, 2011

A Tale of Two Countries: Emissions Scenarios for China and India

I have summarized recent work on China and India in this paper that highlights the differences among the two countries and explains why they will play a very different role in future negotiations on climate change.

China and India are two Asian giants and global players. They both have large populations and booming economies hungry for energy. With no doubts China and India will therefore play a major role in shaping future global emissions of Greenhouse Gases: without their contribution any international agreement to reduce global warming will be ineffective. It is however still unclear what commitments China and India could take in the next rounds of negotiations. With this paper we present evidence that China and India are, and will remain, two very different actors in international negotiations to control global warming. We base our conclusions on historical data and on scenarios until 2050 developed using the WITCH model. The Business-as-Usual scenario is compared to four Emissions Tax scenarios to draw insights on major transformations in energy use and in energy supply and to assess the possible contribution of China and India to a future international climate architecture. Finally, we assess whether the emissions reductions that appear politically feasible in China and India are compatible with the Copenhagen intensity targets and the G8 and MEF pledge to reduce global emissions by 50% in 2050.

Massetti, E. 2011. "A Tale of Two Countries: Emissions Scenarios for China and India." FEEM Nota di Lavoro No. 24.2011, March 2011.