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Business-as-usual redefined: Energy systems under climate-damaged economies warrant review of nationally determined contributions

Bastien-Olvera, Bernardo A.
Energy 2019 v.170 pp. 862-868
climate, climate change, cost benefit analysis, emissions, energy, models, pollution control, socioeconomics, surface temperature
This paper presents a new approach to incorporate climate damages in the BAU emissions baselines. The shared socio-economic pathways framework is used to inform country-level changes in the mean surface temperature for the climate projections associated with each scenario. The temperature changes are used to calculate the economic damages using empirical estimates of climate effects on GDP growth. Finally, an energy system model is used under the original socio-economic assumptions and the climate-damaged assumptions, illustrating the indirect effect of climate change in a country-level energy system.Mexico was chosen to exemplify this method. The results show a reduction of energy access and a slow down of technological transition in the energy sector under climate-damaged projections.It is concluded that greenhouse gas mitigation goals should be re-calibrated under cost-benefit analysis that takes into account the damages associated with future climates consistent with the baseline. Thus, the nationally determined contributions that state the emission goals of many countries could be closer to limit the temperature to 1.5 Celsius above pre-industrial levels.