Climatic Change

, Volume 123, Issue 3–4, pp 383–396 | Cite as

Harmonization vs. fragmentation: overview of climate policy scenarios in EMF27

  • Geoffrey J. BlanfordEmail author
  • Elmar Kriegler
  • Massimo Tavoni


This paper synthesizes results of the multi-model Energy Modeling Forum 27 (EMF27) with a focus on climate policy scenarios. The study included two harmonized long-term climate targets of 450 ppm CO2-e (enforced in 2100) and 550 pm CO2-e (not-to-exceed) as well as two more fragmented policies based on national and regional emissions targets. Stabilizing atmospheric GHG concentrations at 450 and 550 ppm CO2-e requires a dramatic reduction of carbon emissions compared to baseline levels. Mitigation pathways for the 450 CO2-e target are largely overlapping with the 550 CO2-e pathways in the first half of the century, and the lower level is achieved through rapid reductions in atmospheric concentrations in the second half of the century aided by negative anthropogenic carbon flows. A fragmented scenario designed to extrapolate current levels of ambition into the future falls short of the emissions reductions required under the harmonized targets. In a more aggressive scenario intended to capture a break from observed levels of stringency, emissions are still somewhat higher in the second half due to unabated emissions from non-participating countries, emphasizing that a phase-out of global emissions in the long term can only be reached with full global participation. A key finding is that a large range of energy-related CO2 emissions can be compatible with a given long-term target, depending on assumptions about carbon cycle response, non-CO2 and land use CO2 emissions abatement, partly explaining the spread in mitigation costs.


Emission Reduction Climate Policy Carbon Price Policy Scenario Negative Emission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are grateful to three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments. The contributions of Elmar Kriegler and Massimo Tavoni to this research was supported by funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2011 under grant agreement no. 282846 (LIMITS).

Supplementary material

10584_2013_951_MOESM1_ESM.docx (275 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 274 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey J. Blanford
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elmar Kriegler
    • 2
  • Massimo Tavoni
    • 3
  1. 1.Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)Palo AltoUSA
  2. 2.Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)PotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)MilanItaly

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