There is a growing scientific consensus that limiting the increase in global average temperature to around 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is necessary to avoid unacceptable impact on the climate system. This requires that the developed countries’ emissions are radically reduced during the next 40 years.
The article discusses how a greater attention to different governance and institutional issues can complement future scenario exercises. The analysis is based on a critical review of 20 quantitative and qualitative scenario studies, all of relevance for meeting long-term climate policy objectives. The paper: (a) analyses some key differences in energy technology mixes and primary energy use patterns across these studies; (b) briefly explores the extent and the nature of the societal challenges and policy responses implied; and (c) discusses a number of important implications for the design and scope of future scenario studies.
Söderholm, Patrik, Roger Hildingsson, Bengt Johansson, Jamil Khan and Fredrik Wilhelmsson (2011), “Governing the transition to low-carbon futures: A critical survey of energy scenarios for 2050”, Futures 43 s. 1105–1116.
Available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016328711001753