Uncertainty in an emissions constrained world: Case Austria

Jonas M, Krey V, Rafaj P, Bachner G, Steininger K, Marland G, & Nahorski Z (2011). Uncertainty in an emissions constrained world: Case Austria. Presented at "Climate, Climate Change, Impacts and Adaptation in Austria" (12th Austrian Climate Colloquium), 21-22 September 2011, Vienna, Austria

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Abstract

The current task under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UN FCCC] is to agree on a climate treaty that comes into force in 2012, the year in which commitments under the Kyoto Protocol will cease. Leaders of the world's major industrialized countries have formally agreed in the wake of the 2009 UN climate change conference in Copenhagen that the average global temperature should not be permitted to increase by more than 2 degrees Celsius from its preindustrial level. Compliance with this temperature target can be expressed equivalently in terms of limiting cumulative greenhouse [GHG] emissions, for example, up to 2050, while considering the risk of exceeding this target (Meinshausen et al., 2009). The emission reductions required are substantial: 50.80% below the 1990 level at the global scale, with even greater reductions for industrialized countries (Jonas et al., 2010a).

Although the issue of translating an approved global emissions constraint to the sub-global level and allocating global emission shares to countries is still unsettled, a crucial question arising and still to be answered is: how should we deal with the uncertainty associated with the accounting of emissions for compliance purposes? The accounting of emissions, when bottom-up inventory estimates are compared with top-down model-derived constraints, could force us to admit considerable uncertainty due to still existing accounting gaps. Minimizing the risk of exceeding an agreed global average temperature target may demand significant undershooting of the most uncertain emission estimates to ensure that global overall emissions do not exceed the agreed target.

Item Type: Other
Research Programs: Mitigation of Air Pollution (MAG)
Air Quality & Greenhouse Gases (AIR)
Bibliographic Reference: Presented at "Climate, Climate Change, Impacts and Adaptation in Austria" (12th Austrian Climate Colloquium), 21-22 September 2011, Vienna, Austria
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:45
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2016 10:18
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/9734

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