Emissions in the Platinum Age: The Implications of Rapid Development for Climate-Change Mitigation

Posted: 7 Nov 2008

See all articles by Ross Garnaut

Ross Garnaut

University of Melbourne; Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)

Stephen Howes

Australian National University (ANU) - Development Policy Centre; Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Frank Jotzo

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Peter Sheehan

Victoria University - Victoria University of Technology

Date Written: Summer 2008

Abstract

Rapid global economic growth, centred in Asia but now spread across the world, is driving rapid greenhouse-gas emissions growth, making earlier projections unrealistic. This paper develops new, illustrative business-as-usual projections for carbon dioxide (CO) from fossil fuels and other sources and for non-CO greenhouse gases. Making adjustments to 2007 World Energy Outlook projections to reflect more fully recent trends, we project annual emissions by 2030 to be almost double current volumes, 11 per cent higher than in the most pessimistic scenario developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and at a level reached only in 2050 in the business-as-usual scenario used by the Stern Review. This has major implications for the global approach to climate-change mitigation. The required effort is much larger than implicit in the IPCC data informing the current international climate negotiations. Large cuts in developed country emissions will be required, and significant deviations from baselines will be required in developing countries by 2020. It is hard to see how the required cuts could be achieved without all major developing as well as developed countries adopting economy-wide policies.

Keywords: greenhouse gas emissions projections, climate change mitigation, developing countries, economic growth, energy intensity, Q43, Q54, O53

Suggested Citation

Garnaut, Ross and Howes, Stephen and Jotzo, Frank and Sheehan, Peter, Emissions in the Platinum Age: The Implications of Rapid Development for Climate-Change Mitigation (Summer 2008). Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 377-401, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1297160 or http://dx.doi.org/grn021

Ross Garnaut (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)

Beijing, 100732
China

Stephen Howes

Australian National University (ANU) - Development Policy Centre ( email )

7 Liversidge Street (Bld 70)
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, 0200
Australia

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Frank Jotzo

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Peter Sheehan

Victoria University - Victoria University of Technology ( email )

P.O. Box 14428
Melbourne, Victoria 8001
Australia

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