Beyond the numbers: Understanding the transformation induced by INDCs

Studies N°05/2015. Iddri - MILES Project Consortium, 2015. 80 p.

The present analysis of the contributions (INDCs) submitted by Member States to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the run-up to COP21 was conducted by leading research teams from Brazil, China, Japan, India, the United States and the European Union within the MILES Project (funded by the European Commission).

By investigating the concrete implications of INDCs for the low-carbon transformation by and beyond 2030, from energy systems, buildings to transport and industry, this study complements the upcoming cutting-edge assessments by UNFCCC and UNEP of the impact of INDCs on global emissions and the global temperature goal.

Messages clés [en anglais] :

  • THE MILES PROJECT

The “Modelling and Informing Low-Emission Strategies” (MILES) project is an international research project bringing together 16 leading research teams in order to build capacity and knowledge on low-emissions development strategies. The objective of this report is to understand the implications of INDCs of the 5 countries and 1 region covered by the project (US, China, Japan, EU, Brazil and India), both at a national and global level, by investigating the concrete implications of INDCs for the low-carbon transformation by and beyond 2030, from energy systems, buildings to transport and industry.

  • THE INDCs IMPLY AN ACCELERATION AND CONSOLIDATION OF ACTION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE IN MAJOR ECONOMIES AND AROUND THE WORLD

A significant transition appears in the electricity sector, where INDCs will further drive the transition towards renewables and other low-emissions forms of electricity production. In the six major economies assessed individually, carbon dioxide emissions per unit of electricity production falls by about 40% between 2010 and 2030 and renewable electricity becomes the dominant source of electricity production at about 36% of the electricity mix.

  • THE INDCs IMPLY UNEVEN PROGRESS AMONG THE DRIVERS OF DECARBONISATION

Some crucial low-carbon solutions, like CCS, electric vehicles, advanced biofuels, sustainable urban planning, appear unlikely to be developed under the INDCs at the scale and speed required for a 2°C scenario. Likewise, the report highlights that INDCs would leave too much inefficient and unabated fossil fuel capacity online in 2030 to be coherent with a 2 degrees scenario. This highlights the risks of lock-in into a high carbon trajectory if action is not strengthened quickly. Post-Paris policy efforts need to stimulate technology innovation, deployment and diffusion in order to drive down costs in such sectors where insufficient progress is being seen.

  • THE INDCs ARE AN ENTRY POINT TO PUT THE WORLD ON A TRAJECTORY TOWARDS 2°C

The INDCs imply a significant acceleration of climate action but as currently submitted may not be enough to keep the below 2°C goal in reach. The Paris Agreement should establish a clear mechanism to allow the regular, predictable and timely revision of national contributions and the global framework. New contributions should be based on a vision for the deep decarbonisation of national energy systems. The Paris agreement should foster the development of national deep decarbonisation pathways around 2018.