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Pledges for climate mitigation: the effects of the Copenhagen accord on CO2 emissions and mitigation costs

Solveig Glomsrød, Taoyuan Wei, Knut H. Alfsen

The UN Framework Convention of Climate Change 15th Conference of the Parties Copenhagen Accord has been followed up by national pledges of greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the year 2020 without specifying measures to enforce actions. As a consequence, the capacity of parties to fulfil their obligations is of basic interest. This article outlines the effects of full compliance with pledges on greenhouse gas emissions, economic growth, and trade. The study is based on the global computable general equilibrium model global responses to anthropogenic changes in the environment (GRACE) distinguishing between fossil and non-fossil energy use. Global emissions from fossil fuels in 2020 turn out to be 15 % lower than in a business as usual scenario and 3 % below the global emissions from fossil fuels in 2005. China and India increase their emissions to 1 % and 5 % above business as usual levels in 2020. India and Russia increase their net export of steel corresponding to around 30 and 45 % of their production levels in 2020. In spite of some leakage of energy intensive production also to China, we find that structural change remains the dominant factor behind the rapid reduction of CO2 emission intensity in China towards 2020.

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