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Disentangling the ranges: climate policy scenarios for China and India


Greenhouse gas emissions in China and India have been increasing rapidly over the last decade. Scenario studies can provide insight into expected future trends and the emission reduction potential in these regions. The scenarios show that growing population, gross domestic product, and energy demand are likely to lead to a further increase in emissions. At the same time, a decreasing emission intensity would still allow to create decarbonization scenarios in line with the requirements for reaching a maximal warming of 2 °C. There is, however, a wide range of assumptions across these studies. Based on the literature review, this paper observes that key assumptions in scenarios developed by national institutes in China and India differ from those presented by international studies or modeling teams. We explore how this—and other factors like data availability—may influence the interpretation of the scenarios and how international and national modeling groups could learn from each other. Our main recommendation is for more extensive collaboration between national and international research groups, so that national and international scenario studies can be compared in more detail in order to support international negotiations.

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This paper has been written as part of the RESPONSES project, funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme. The paper also benefitted from financial support of FP7 LIMITS projects funded by the European Commission.

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Correspondence to Andries F. Hof.

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Hof, A.F., Kumar, A., Deetman, S. et al. Disentangling the ranges: climate policy scenarios for China and India. Reg Environ Change 15, 1025–1033 (2015).

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  • Climate change
  • Climate scenarios
  • Mitigation
  • China
  • India