Climatic Change

, Volume 136, Issue 1, pp 7–22 | Cite as

Will economic growth and fossil fuel scarcity help or hinder climate stabilization?

Overview of the RoSE multi-model study
  • Elmar Kriegler
  • Ioanna Mouratiadou
  • Gunnar Luderer
  • Nico Bauer
  • Robert J. Brecha
  • Katherine Calvin
  • Enrica De Cian
  • Jae Edmonds
  • Kejun Jiang
  • Massimo Tavoni
  • Ottmar Edenhofer


We investigate the extent to which future energy transformation pathways meeting ambitious climate change mitigation targets depend on assumptions about economic growth and fossil fuel availability. The analysis synthesizes results from the RoSE multi-model study aiming to identify robust and sensitive features of mitigation pathways under these inherently uncertain drivers of energy and emissions developments. Based on an integrated assessment model comparison exercise, we show that economic growth and fossil resource assumptions substantially affect baseline developments, but in no case they lead to the significant greenhouse gas emission reduction that would be needed to achieve long-term climate targets without dedicated climate policy. The influence of economic growth and fossil resource assumptions on climate mitigation pathways is relatively small due to overriding requirements imposed by long-term climate targets. While baseline assumptions can have substantial effects on mitigation costs and carbon prices, we find that the effects of model differences and the stringency of the climate target are larger compared to that of baseline assumptions. We conclude that inherent uncertainties about socio-economic determinants like economic growth and fossil resource availability can be effectively dealt with in the assessment of mitigation pathways.


Climate Policy Carbon Price Carbon Intensity Mitigation Cost Carbon Prex 
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 RoSE project, this work and the additional studies presented in the RoSE special issue were supported by Stiftung Mercator. RJB acknowledges support from the German-American Fulbright Foundation while at PIK.

Supplementary material

10584_2016_1668_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.2 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1.22 mb)
10584_2016_1668_MOESM2_ESM.docx (1.6 mb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 1.62 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elmar Kriegler
    • 1
  • Ioanna Mouratiadou
    • 1
  • Gunnar Luderer
    • 1
  • Nico Bauer
    • 1
  • Robert J. Brecha
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katherine Calvin
    • 3
  • Enrica De Cian
    • 4
  • Jae Edmonds
    • 3
  • Kejun Jiang
    • 5
  • Massimo Tavoni
    • 4
  • Ottmar Edenhofer
    • 1
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact ResearchPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.University of DaytonDaytonUSA
  3. 3.Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  4. 4.Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Euro-Mediterranen Center on Climate Change (CMCC)MilanItaly
  5. 5.Energy Research Institute, National Development and Reform CommissionBeijingChina
  6. 6.Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  7. 7.Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate ChangeBerlinGermany

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