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Policy Options to engage Emerging Asian economies in a post-Kyoto regime

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Engaging with China and India on emissions

For the world to meet its 2050 emissions targets, a lot depends on China and India. An EU-project compared policy options to help them reach the target.

Climate Change and Environment icon Climate Change and Environment

The world has already warmed significantly from human activities generating carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution, and worse is yet to come. The international community is attempting to limit the increase to 2 degrees Celsius, but doing so would require considerable decreases in CO2 emissions by 2050. Achieving that requires international cooperation, especially from the two countries projected to be the biggest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters during that period: China and India. However, these countries have been reluctant to commit to targets potentially affecting their national development objectives. An EU-funded project, 'Policy options to engage emerging Asian economies in a post-Kyoto regime' (POEM), aimed to investigate policy options for those countries potentially meeting both objectives. POEM compared results from a number of published global and national economic models. The project's reporting results focused on background literature searches, setting up and running the models, and evaluating the results. These predict an ongoing major dependency on coal and oil, meaning increasing emissions unless strict measures are taken. Averting that will require significant commitment to change. The study concluded that China and India face different scenarios, but both have already initiated numerous measures of their own to address GHG emissions, including carbon capture and storage (CCS), plus renewable and nuclear options. CCS will be more important to China, whereas renewable options will be more important to India. india's carbon emissions have more scope to continue growing before reaching the assigned limit, whereas China's are closer to the limit. Thus, changing the energy systems will be more costly for China than for India. India should profit more from carbon trading than China, especially in the long term. Both countries benefit from delayed participation, and both would be impacted by fixed allocation per country with no carbon trading. the project's other achievements include its modelling results having contributed to other studies, and having run various workshops. POEM expects to be able to meet its central goal of providing policy options for the two key countries, which will help the global community reach the set targets.

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