Climate and Energy

IGES-ERI Policy Research Workshop

On the road to Paris:
The readiness of key countries for COP 21 and beyond

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and China’s Energy Research Institute (ERI) of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) co-hosted a policy research workshop on low-carbon development in major economies entitled “On the road to Paris: The readiness of key countries for COP 21 and beyond”, with the support of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MOEJ). The workshop was held in Beijing, China, and was the tenth workshop since 2005.

The main purpose of the workshop was twofold: firstly to exchange the latest scientific knowledge on national and global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission pathways to achieve the 2℃ target and the latest developments of national and international climate policies; and secondly to discuss the common messages and policy recommendations to deliver to the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Lima, Peru.

Date 2 September 2014
Venue Conference Room 20, China People’s Palace, Beijing, China
Organisers Energy Research Institute (ERI),
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES),
Ministry of the Environment, Japan
Related Information Agenda (234KB)
» Presentation Materials
Session Summary Session1:Scientific findings with regard to the 2℃ goal
 Session2:Current policies and additional policies toward bridging the gap
 Session3:International collaboration for bridging the gap
 Session4:Wrap up
Presentation Materials
Session1: Scientific findings with regard to the 2℃ goal Findings from IPCC: 2 degree pathway 
Finding from IPCC: 2 degree pathway
Jiang Kejun, Director, Energy Research Institute (ERI), China
PDF (1.9MB)
The Deep Deecarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP)
Henri Waisman, Coordinator of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, the Climate Program,
Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI, France)
PDF (537KB)
Session2: Evolutional policies towards bridging the Emission Gap 
China’s Low Carbon Future: 2 degree pathway
Jiang Kejun, Director, Energy Research Institute (ERI), China
PDF (1.5MB)
China’s Renewable Energy Policy Framework and Development Target
GAO Hu, Deputy Director, Renewable Energy Development Center, Energy Research Institute (ERI) , China
PDF (2.3MB)
U.S. Emissions and Mitigation Results from EMF24
James Edmonds, Chief Scientist/ Battelle Fellow, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Joint Global Change Research Institute
PDF (359KB)
Japan’s climate policies in the context of meeting the 2 degree goal
Takeshi Kuramochi, Senior Policy Researcher, Climate and Energy Area, IGES
PDF (677KB)
Tokyo’s 3rd Year Cap-and-Trade Results: Lessons learned
Hisataka Goto, Deputy Director, Trade Section, Bureau of Environment, Tokyo Metropolitan Government
PDF (1.0MB)
EU policies in the context of meeting the 2 degree goal
Noriko Fujiwara, Associate Research Fellow and Head of Climate Change, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
PDF (265KB)
Coal in the EU Power Sector and the Development of CCS
Thomas Spencer, Program Director, Climate and Energy, IDDRI
PDF (776KB)
Session3: Evolutional policies towards bridging the Emission Gap 
How to Enhance the effectiveness of International Regime on Climate Change: Challenges Towards Post2020
Yukari Takamura, Nagoya University
PDF (1.5MB)
Enhanced delivery of finance, technology and capacity building to support actions of developing countries
Yuqing Yu, Senior Researcher, Climate and Energy Area, IGES
PDF (693KB)
Prospects for international cooperative initiatives
Maarten Neelis, Regional Manager China, Ecofys
PDF (726KB)
Session 1: Scientific findings with regard to the 2℃ goal 

Session 1 reviewed key findings from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) reports with regard to the global and national pathways toward the 2℃ goal. The scientific discussions took place to form our understanding of what is needed for the 2℃ goal and what is lacking in action.

Kejun Jiang (ERI) presented the latest scientific knowledge on global and regional emissions pathways toward the 2℃ goal compiled in the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5). Dr. Jiang emphasised the need for comparing INDCs or currently discussed mitigation target levels with the required mitigation levels identified in the IPCC AR5 to ensure the consistency of INDCs with the 2 °C goal.

Henri Waisman (IDDRI) presented the highlights from the recently published interim report of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project. The report, comprised of analyses for 15 countries’ national emissions pathways that cover about 70% of global CO2 emissions in 2010, showed that key technical pillars to decarbonisation are common to all countries. The results also showed that deep decarbonisation can be compatible with continued wealth increase and access to development. With regard to policy implications of the results, Dr. Waisman emphasised the importance of a long-term vision to elaborate short-term mitigation plans.

In the discussion, referring to one of the conclusions in the DDPP interim report, which stated that the aggregated emissions reductions for the 15 countries assessed were not sufficient to reach the 2 °C target, several participants asked about how to ensure that national pathways were consistent with the 2℃ target. Dr. Waisman responded that the DDPP does not apply ex-ante allocation of the carbon budget to achieve the 2 °C target, and the ambition levels of the countries assessed were increased only through discussions on the technical building blocks on the transformations. Dr. Waisman also stated that the 2nd phase of the project will identify additional actions required to achieve the 2 °C target and assess the influence of lifestyle development on future emissions pathways, which incorporates some elements of equity issue. Dr. Jiang also pointed out that emission pathways modelling can play a significant role in understanding key points behind the emissions reduction targets.

Session 2: Current policies and additional policies toward bridging the gap 

Session 2 exchanged the latest policy developments in major emitting economies (China, Japan, the EU and the US) and discussed the possible future policies to close the emissions gap to keep global GHG emissions on the 2 °C track. Researchers from key economies introduced their current policies and action plans to reduce GHG emissions.

Jiang Kejun (ERI) gave a presentation on China’s low-carbon future in the context of the 2℃ pathway. The modelling results suggest that China’s CO2 emissions should peak around 2030 and total CO2 emissions should not exceed 8,000 Mt-CO2 in order to be consistent with the 2℃ goal. China’s recent mitigation policies, including economic structure optimisation policies, energy efficiency policies and renewable energy and nuclear power generation oriented policies, led to noticeable emissions reductions. In addition, China’s technology progress is developing at a speed much faster than what models predict. China’s high GDP growth could also support low-carbon development, because high GDP will generate abundant capital and result in more investments for low-carbon development. Finally, local environment problems are a great push for clean production and hence can lead to low-carbon development.

Gao Hu (ERI) introduced China’s renewable energy (RE) policy framework and development target. China implemented two critical policies under the Renewable Energy Law (announced in 2005, revised in 2009) —the feed-in tariff to share costs and RE power price surcharge for the capitalisation of the RE fund—to support RE development. China added new power capacity of 94 GW in 2013, which included 36.5GW (39%) of coal power, 30GW (32%) of hydropower, 14GW (15%) of wind, 11GW (12%) of solar PV and 2GW (2%) of nuclear power. China sets 2020 RE targets and aims for the generation capacity of 420GW from hydropower, 200 GW from wind, 50GW (or may increase to 100 GW) from solar PV, and a 15% share of non-fossil fuel in total power generation. Accordingly, China plans to launch several demonstration programs, more specifically 100 new energy demonstration cities, 200 green energy demonstration counties and 30 new energy demonstration micro-grids. China also considers the introduction of the new energy power quota system to enforce the purchase of RE power.

Jae Edmonds (PNNL) presented the comparative assessment of long-term mitigation scenarios (50% and 80% reduction from 2005 levels) published from the EMF24 study in 2013. Dr. Edmonds stated that all scenarios from the 9 models compared in the study indicated that technology alone would not be sufficient to meet the mitigation targets and that a dramatic transformation of the energy system will ultimately be required. It was also stated that no single technology is absolutely essential to meet the aforementioned long-term mitigation targets.

Takeshi Kuramochi (IGES) presented the latest climate and energy policy developments in Japan following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Dr. Kuramochi stated that the legal underpinning of national mitigation targets for 2020 and 2050 is very weak and that the current construction plans for coal-fired power plants could lock in significant amount of CO2 emissions up to 2050.

Hisataka Goto (TMG) presented the latest developments of the Tokyo Cap-and-Trade emissions trading scheme (ETS). Mr. Goto presented that for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012, emissions under the scheme have reduced by 22% from the base year levels. One participant praised Tokyo ETS as a fine example of reducing GHG emissions from the business sector.

Noriko Fujiwara (CEPS) presented the latest developments of energy and climate policies in the EU. With regard to the proposed 40% reduction target for 2030, Dr. Fujiwara stated that the 40% reduction target would likely be formally adopted in October 2014, but it has not been discussed extensively whether this target level is sufficient to meet the 2 °C target.

Thomas Spencer (IDDRI) presented EU’s position on coal power plants and CCS development in the EU. Mr. Spencer showed that the increased renewable electricity and electricity demand reduction observed after 2010 did not lead to a reduction in coal consumption. However, it was concluded that coal power generation will unlikely increase in the future when the retirement rates and the planned new build rates of coal plants were considered. On research and development (R&D) of CCS, Mr. Spencer stated that existing policies in the EU has not been successful due to various reasons including financing problems, low CO2 price, lack of public support and the declining faith in political will to decarbonise.

The audience raised a wide range of questions to the presenters. For example, several participants asked Dr. Gao about the challenges to achieve China’s 2020 renewable targets. Dr. Gao identified three strategies for addressing challenges: the building of long-distance transmission lines, the creation of local electricity demand by shifting industries from the east to the west, and the optimisation of the electricity system to enable the operation of coal power plants in a way that is consistent with wind and solar PV. In response to the question of the link between EMF 24 and U.S. commitments, Dr. Edmonds answered straightforwardly that no link has been established and any push for US commitments will be made under the Clean Air Act.

Session 3: International collaboration for bridging the gap 

Session 3 overviewed the existing discussions for international collaboration under and outside the UNFCCC. Lessons learned from existing international initiatives will be shared to enhance international cooperation for realising the 2°C goal.

Yukari Takamura (Nagoya University) presented on how to enhance the effectiveness of international climate regime. Prof. Takamura stated that the focus of the negotiations is shifting towards how effectively international institutions could support local and national actions in delivering emissions reductions, rather than setting stringent mitigation targets consistent with the 2 °C goal. The importance of pre-2020 action was also emphasised because it determines the levels of post-2020 contributions, and it would also have implications for the components to be included in the post-2020 regime.

Yuqing Yu (IGES) presented strategies for enhanced delivery of finance, technology and capacity building to support developing countries’ actions. Dr. Yu reiterated that the annual USD 100 billion mobilisation is feasible but very challenging, and the private finance should play an important role in scaling up climate finance. Dr. Yu proposed three strategies for an enhanced and efficient delivery of international support to developing countries: (i) accelerate the full operationalisation and synergies of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and NAMA registry, (ii) underscore the significance of domestic finance and the role of National Climate Fund, and (iii) clear-cutting division of labour between the Standing Committee on Finance and non-UNFCCC research institutes.

Maarten Neelis (Ecofys) introduced prospects for international cooperative initiatives (ICIs). Dr. Neelis stated that ICIs can bring together governments and/or other stakeholders outside the UNFCCC framework in unambiguously ambitious initiatives beyond the Party pledges and hence can play a significant role in bridging the emissions gap. Dr. Neelis shared ICI examples in the building sector and concluded that tracking, sharing, and strengthening are the critical steps for ICIs to move forward.

The audience raised a wide range of questions to the presenters. For example, some participants raised questions about two points from Prof. Takamura’s presentation, which were the comparability issue and the assessment of pre-2020 efforts. Prof. Takamura responded that the purpose of enhancing comparability is to ensure equity among all parties as no single indicator can represent equity principles. Prof. Takamura agreed that developed countries need to enhance their efforts during the pre-2020 period and ex-ante consultations of INDC will be very difficult due to tight schedule.

Session 4: Wrap up

In the wrap-up session, Kentaro Tamura (IGES) shared with participants the findings from the workshop and sought their inputs to the IGES-ERI joint COP report. The one hour session prompted lively discussions on the key messages, and IDDRI offered to contribute to the IGES-ERI joint COP report. The session was concluded by Akiko Urakami’s (MOEJ) closing remarks. The workshop discussions and resulting messages will be further reflected in the joint COP report.

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