Achievability of the Paris targets in the EU - the role of demand-side-driven mitigation in different types of scenarios
With the Paris target of limiting global warming to well below 2 °C until 2100, at best even 1.5 °C, the question arises what this implies for the EU's mitigation targets and strategies. In this article, the reduction of carbon intensities and energy uses in the most ambitious mitigation scenarios for the EU, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK are compared to those of the EU in global 1.5 and 2 °C scenarios. An index decomposition analysis is applied to energy supply and each end-use sector (industry, buildings, and transport) to identify the main differences. From this, we derive conclusions concerning policies and indicators for an EU mitigation strategy compatible with limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. The index decomposition shows that reducing energy use is a stronger lever in the evaluated national scenarios than in the international scenarios for all end-use sectors. The reasons for that are the lower utilization of CCS, the inclusion of additional technology options, and a detailed consideration of sufficiency in the national scenarios. The results suggest that including more ambitious demand-side mitigation options (sufficiency, energy efficiency, electrification, and fuel switching) can significantly reduce the need for negative emissions that are required in all the existing 1.5 °C-compatible global scenarios. Driving these options requires substantial enhancement of current policies for all end-use sectors. In addition, certain index decomposition approaches are shown to underrate the long-term contributions of demand-side mitigation. Accordingly, demand-side mitigation tends to be under-represented in progress indicators for the Paris Agreement, which calls for improvements.