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En route to China's mid-century climate goal: comparison of emissions intensity versus absolute targets

Authors
/persons/resource/giannou

Giannousakis,  Anastasis
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/lavinia.baumstark

Baumstark,  Lavinia
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Elmar.Kriegler

Kriegler,  Elmar
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Citation

Giannousakis, A., Baumstark, L., Kriegler, E. (2020): En route to China's mid-century climate goal: comparison of emissions intensity versus absolute targets. - Climate Policy, 20, 10, 1274-1289.
https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2020.1798734


Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_24372
Abstract
We compare the effectiveness of absolute vs. intensity targets in preparing China for progressively stronger climate action under the Paris Agreement. The Agreement requires countries to submit nationally determined contributions (NDCs) every five years and in addition calls for submission of long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies up to 2050. This study conducts a multi-criteria comparison of the adoption of an absolute vs. an intensity interim target in 2030, followed by an absolute target in 2050, for China. In doing so, we explicitly consider economic growth uncertainty as it is the main motivation behind China's and other developing countries' adoption of intensity targets for 2030. We perform the target comparison analytically, as well as using the stochastic version of a large-scale integrated assessment model. The stochastic model is based on expected utility theory and explicitly accounts for uncertainty.