Climate-change policy

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate change is expected to have impacts on human mortality, e.g. through increases in heat waves. Here, the author proposes a new metric to account for excess deaths from additional CO2 emissions, which allows to assess the mortality impacts of marginal emissions and leads to a substantial increase in the social costs of carbon.

    • R. Daniel Bressler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Access to low cost finance is vital for developing economies’ transition to green energy. Here the authors show how modelled decarbonization pathways for developing economies are disproportionately impacted by different weighted average cost of capital (WACC) assumptions.

    • Nadia Ameli
    • , Olivier Dessens
    •  & Michael Grubb
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Afforestation is an important greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation strategy but the efficacy of commercial (harvested) forestry is disputed. Here the authors apply dynamic life cycle assessment to show that new commercial conifer forests can achieve up to 269% more GHG mitigation than semi-natural forests, over 100 years.

    • Eilidh J. Forster
    • , John R. Healey
    •  & David Styles
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ambitious climate policies can negatively impact the global poor by affecting income, food and energy prices. Here, the authors quantify this effect, and show that it can be compensated by national redistribution of the carbon pricing revenues in combination with international climate finance.

    • Bjoern Soergel
    • , Elmar Kriegler
    •  & Alexander Popp
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    Negative emission technologies are central to avoiding catastrophic climate change. Deploying engineered solutions such as direct air capture requires a policy sequencing strategy that focuses on “incentives + mandates” in early adopters, while creating positive spillovers that incentivize follower countries to take policy action.

    • Jonas Meckling
    •  & Eric Biber
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The growing energy consumption and carbon emissions of Bitcoin mining could potentially undermine global sustainability efforts. Here, the authors show the annual energy consumption of the Bitcoin blockchain in China is expected to peak in 2024 at 296.59 Twh and generate 130.50 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

    • Shangrong Jiang
    • , Yuze Li
    •  & Shouyang Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A key strategy for meeting China’s 2060 carbon neutrality goal and the global 1.5 °C climate goal is to rapidly shift away from unabated coal use. Here, the authors detail how to structure a high-ambition, plant-by-plant coal phaseout in China while balancing multiple national needs.

    • Ryna Yiyun Cui
    • , Nathan Hultman
    •  & Mengye Zhu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    China announced a ban on its import of most plastic waste in 2017, resulting in an impact on global environmental sustainability. Here the authors quantify the environmental impacts of changes in the flow patterns and treatment methods of 6 types of plastic waste in 18 countries subsequent to the ban.

    • Zongguo Wen
    • , Yiling Xie
    •  & Christian Doh Dinga
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Governments may struggle to impose costly polices on vital industries, resulting in a greater need for negative emissions. Here, the authors model a direct air capture crash deployment program, finding it can remove 2.3 GtCO2 yr–1 in 2050, 13–20 GtCO2 yr–1 in 2075, and 570–840 GtCO2 cumulative over 2025–2100.

    • Ryan Hanna
    • , Ahmed Abdulla
    •  & David G. Victor
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate action from local actors is vital in achieving nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement. Here the authors show that existing commitments from U.S. states, cities and business could reduce emissions 25% below 2005 levels by 2030, with expanded subnational action reducing emissions by 37% and federal action by up to 49%.

    • Nathan E. Hultman
    • , Leon Clarke
    •  & John O’Neill
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In the light of nine Earth System Processes (ESPs) and the corresponding planetary boundaries, here the authors assessed the global environmental impact of a global carbon pricing in a multi-boundary world. They show that a global carbon tax would relieve pressure on most ESPs and it is therefore stronger in a multi-boundary world than when considering climate change in isolation.

    • Gustav Engström
    • , Johan Gars
    •  & Badri Narayanan
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    Accounting guidelines exist for carbon flows in terrestrial and coastal ecosystems, but not shelf sea sediments. In this Review, the authors explore whether effective management of carbon stocks accumulating in shelf seas could contribute to a nation’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

    • Tiziana Luisetti
    • , Silvia Ferrini
    •  & Emmanouil Tyllianakis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The environmental and socio-economic implications of the growth in welfare and trade in Asia-Pacific (APAC) remain unclear. Here the authors show that over the past two decades (1995–2015), owing to intraregional trade, the APAC economies have grown increasingly interdependent in natural resource use, air emissions, and labor and economic productivity.

    • Lan Yang
    • , Yutao Wang
    •  & Yuanbo Qiao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To evaluate the effectiveness of current national policies in achieving global temperature targets is important but a systematic multi-model evaluation is still lacking. Here the authors identified a reduction of 3.5 GtCO2 eq of current national policies relative to a baseline scenario without climate policies by 2030 due to the increasing low carbon share of final energy and the improving final energy intensity.

    • Mark Roelfsema
    • , Heleen L. van Soest
    •  & Saritha Sudharmma Vishwanathan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The emission allocation strategies of global scenarios do not specify the potential benefits from extra climate mitigation efforts. Here the authors show that compared to the current Nationally Distributed Contributions, the proposed self-preservation strategy might generate 126–616 trillion dollars of additional benefits by 2100.

    • Yi-Ming Wei
    • , Rong Han
    •  & Zili Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is important to gain a better understanding on the contributing factors fostering climate action in developing countries. Here, the authors investigate the attention levels paid to this issue in the planning and implementation stages of climate policies in Mexico during 1994-2018, and find that international negotiations and executive governmental plans are strong drivers of the climate policy discourse in Mexico and likely to be so for developing countries more generally.

    • Arturo Balderas Torres
    • , Priscila Lazaro Vargas
    •  & Jouni Paavola
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Exploring the heterogeneity in impacts and outcomes of using solar geoengineering to counteract global warming is important. Here the authors found that solar geoengineering that reduces temperature below present-day would grow GDP by accelerating economic development in tropics, but projections for global GDP-per-capita by the end of the century are highly dispersed and model dependent.

    • Anthony R. Harding
    • , Katharine Ricke
    •  & Juan Moreno-Cruz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Activities in cities are important drivers of global carbon fluxes. Here the authors trace the carbon metabolism in 16 global cities in terms of both physical and virtual carbon inflows, stock changes and outflows in relation to the supply chains of urban production and consumption and show that the total carbon impacts of global cities are found to be highly varied in either per capita, intensity or density measures.

    • Shaoqing Chen
    • , Bin Chen
    •  & Klaus Hubacek
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Computable General Equilibrium models can hardly decouple economic growth and energy consumption while energy system models can hardly predict macroeconomic implications of energy system changes. Here the authors investigated the macroeconomic implications of consistently dealing with energy systems and the stability of further power generation and show that GDP losses were significantly lower than those in the conventional economic model by more than 50% in 2050, while industry and service sector energy consumption are the main factors causing these differences.

    • Shinichiro Fujimori
    • , Ken Oshiro
    •  & Tomoko Hasegawa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The plant-by-plant retirement needs are not well-understood yet to achieve the rapid transition away from coal use. Here the authors found that operational lifetimes of existing units must be reduced to approximately 35 years to keep warming well below 2 °C or 20 years for 1.5 °C, even if no new capacity comes online.

    • Ryna Yiyun Cui
    • , Nathan Hultman
    •  & Christine Shearer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is unclear what opportunities for policy evaluation can be created by various independent Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). Here the authors presented the firm-level evidence of policy effects directly from emissions trading and differential program designs in China and find that China’s pilots largely induced low-carbon innovation of ETS firms without crowding out other technology innovation.

    • Junming Zhu
    • , Yichun Fan
    •  & Lan Xue
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To trace the sources of Black Carbon being transported into the Tibetan Plateau is crucial for guiding an effective mitigation strategy. Here the authors utilized the adjoint of the Goddard Earth Observing System-Chem model and find that international trade aggravates the BC pollution over the HTP glacier regions and may cause significant climate change.

    • Kan Yi
    • , Jing Meng
    •  & Shu Tao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aerosol impacts have not been comprehensively considered in the cost-benefit integrated assessment models that are widely used to analyze climate policy. Here the authors account for these impacts and find that the health co-benefits from improved air quality outweigh the co-harms from increased near-term warming, and that optimal climate policy results in immediate net benefits globally.

    • Noah Scovronick
    • , Mark Budolfson
    •  & Fabian Wagner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is not clear how the public views the acceptability of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Here the authors explored public perceptions of BECCS by situating the technology in three policy scenarios and found that the policy instrument used to incentivise BECCS significantly affects the degree of public support for the technology.

    • Rob Bellamy
    • , Javier Lezaun
    •  & James Palmer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Local air quality co-benefits can provide convincing support for climate action. Here the authors revisited air quality co-benefits of climate action in the context of NDCs and found that 71–99 thousand premature deaths can be avoided each year by 2030, offsetting the climate mitigation costs on a global level.

    • Toon Vandyck
    • , Kimon Keramidas
    •  & Bert Saveyn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The rapid growth of South–South trade reflects a new phase of globalization. Here the authors show that some energy-intensive production activities, particularly raw materials and intermediate goods, and related CO2 emissions are relocating from China and India to other developing countries.

    • Jing Meng
    • , Zhifu Mi
    •  & Steven J. Davis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The development of sustainable food systems requires an understanding of potential trade-off between various objectives. Here, Chaudhary et al. examine how different nations score on food system performance across several domains, including environment, nutrition, and sociocultural wellbeing.

    • Abhishek Chaudhary
    • , David Gustafson
    •  & Alexander Mathys
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate change impacts in models used to calculate the social cost of carbon (SCC) are either poorly documented or based on a small number of dated studies. Here, the authors estimate new damages for the agricultural sector and find that updating this sector alone causes the SCC to increase substantially.

    • Frances C. Moore
    • , Uris Baldos
    •  & Delavane Diaz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Current national pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions track to a temperature rise of about 3 °C. Here the authors use future projections to show that 3 °C warming under a business as usual scenario would result in large increases in ozone concentrations, off-setting any benefits from mitigation policies.

    • A. Fortems-Cheiney
    • , G. Foret
    •  & M. Beekmann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The pledges put forward by each country to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement are ambiguous. Rogeljet al. quantify the uncertainty arising from the interpretation of these pledges and find that by 2030 global emissions can vary by −10% to +20% around their median estimate of 52 GtCO2e yr−1.

    • Joeri Rogelj
    • , Oliver Fricko
    •  & Keywan Riahi
  • Article |

    It is widely acknowledged that some form of carbon capture will be necessary to limit global warming to less than 2 °C, but to what extent remains unclear. Here, using climate-carbon models, the authors quantify the amount of negative emissions and carbon storage capacity required to meet this target.

    • T. Gasser
    • , C. Guivarch
    •  & P. Ciais