What are climate ‘tipping points’ and how likely are they? (A5)

Evidence from ice core and sediment records shows that in the past, Earth’s climate has reached critical thresholds, triggering abrupt and rapid change. Whilst the reasons behind such ‘tipping points’ are not always clear, evidence from climate models shows that they could be reached again as the planet warms in response to greenhouse gas emissions. However, this risk cannot yet be … Read more

Reversing climate change by large scale deployment of carbon-dioxide removal through BECCS (D2b)

This report focuses on the timescales of climate reversibility under a range of Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) scenarios. The experiments performed here are based around a narrative that emissions are strongly mitigated over the 21st century with a view that climate forcing is stabilised by 2100 but the 2°C target is missed. … Read more

Literature review of potential for adaptation to climate change impacts (B1c)

Executive summary Very few studies have yet assessed the feasibility of adaptation to climate change on a global scale, and there are limited assessments of the feasibility of adaptation even at the local scale in a number of sectors for many regions. Where adaptation is physically feasible, the issue is not only whether adaptation will … Read more

Assessing the challenges of global long-term mitigation scenarios (C2a)

The implications of global mitigation to achieve different long-term temperature goals (LTTGs) can be investigated in integrated assessment models (IAMs), which provide a large number of outputs including technology deployment levels, economic costs, carbon prices, annual rates of decarbonisation, degree of global net negative emissions required, as well as utilisation levels for fossil fuel plants. … Read more

Representing the behavioural dimension of energy demand in stringent mitigation scenarios (C4)

In many low carbon scenario projections, energy efficiency improvements and other demand-side mitigation actions contribute a significant share of energy and emissions reductions. This study investigates the representation of behavioural dimensions in energy systems models, such as barriers to energy efficiency and policies to overcome them, as well as behavioural changes such as shifts from … Read more

How can reducing energy demand help keep global warming below 2 degrees? Policy Card C4

How can reducing energy demand help keep global warming below 2 degrees? Policy Card C4 People and businesses can be encouraged by targeted policies to change their behaviour around using energy and energy efficient technologies. Policy tools such as regulations, standards and financial instruments can lower energy demand, and result in health and economic co-benefits. … Read more

Can we achieve the rates of energy transition required to limit global warming to below 2 degrees? Policy card C3

By limiting low-carbon energy technology deployment rates to within historical limits, it is possible to keep average global warming to around 2°C by 2100. These historical limits are based on what has been achieved by a small number of energy technology transitions in individual countries, so the deployment rates remain unprecedented at the global scale … Read more

How can Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) contribute to meeting 2 degrees? Policy card D2a

How can Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) contribute to meeting 2 degrees? Policy card D2a Most computer modelled scenarios that limit global warming to below 2°C rely on some amount of CO2 removal from the atmosphere later this century.1 BECCS is a process that has the potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere. … Read more

How plausible is a rapid global increase in the deployment of Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS)? Policy Card D1a D1b

Most future scenarios of the energy systems needed to avoid dangerous climate change involve the removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide later this century (referred to as a ‘negative emissions’ technology). BECCS is currently the only technology with the potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere at a global scale, whilst meeting future rising energy needs … Read more

Exploring the feasibility of low-carbon scenarios using historical energy transitions analysis (C3)

This study analyses the dynamics pf previous energy transitions with a view to applying these insights to assess the feasibility of low-carbon scenarios produced by a global energy systems model (the Grantham Institute’s TIMES Integrated Assessment Model, TIAM-Grantham). The study first reviews recent literature investigating past energy transitions, as well as how the feasibility of … Read more