Synthesis Report - Question 7

Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report

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Figure 7-4: Indicative relationship in the year 2050 between the relative GDP reduction caused by mitigation activities, the SRES scenarios, and the stabilization level. The reduction in GDP tends to increase with the stringency of the stabilization level, but the costs are very sensitive to the choice of the baseline scenario. These projected mitigation costs do not take into account potential benefits of avoided climate change.
The decline in energy R&D expenditure is inconsistent with the goal of accelerating the development and deployment of advanced energy technologies. Energy-related R&D expenditure by Annex II governments increased dramatically after the 1970 oil price increases, but as a group it has decreased steadily in real terms since the early 1980s. In some countries the decrease has been as great as 75%. The support for energy conservation and renewable energy R&D has increased. However, other important energy technologies relevant to climate change, such as, for example, commercial biomass and carbon capture and storage, remain minor constituents of the energy R&D portfolio.

WGIII TAR Section 10.3.3 & SRTT Section 2.3
Social learning and innovation and changes in institutional structure could contribute to climate change mitigation. Changes in collective rules and individual behaviors may have significant effects on greenhouse gas emissions, but take place within a complex institutional, regulatory, and legal setting. Several studies suggest that current incentive systems can encourage resource-intensive production and consumption patterns that increase greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors (e.g., transport and housing). In the shorter term, there are opportunities to influence through social innovations individual and organizational behaviors. In the longer term, such innovations in combination with technological change may further enhance socio-economic potential, particularly if preferences and cultural norms shift towards lower emitting and sustainable behaviors. These innovations frequently meet with resistance, which may be addressed by encouraging greater public participation in the decision-making process. This can help contribute to new approaches to sustainability and equity.

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