India's CO2 emissions pathways to 2050 - Grantham Report 5

Topics: Mitigation
Type: Institute reports and analytical notes
Publication date: 2013



Project Lead: Ajay Gambhir and Dr Gabrial Anandarajah
Project Team: Dr Tamaryn Napp, Christopher Emmott, Lola Vallejo
Published: January 2013


This study, which combines work by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Energy Institute at University College London, outlines potential pathways to 2050 for India to reduce its energy- and industry-related CO2 emissions in line with international efforts to avoid dangerous levels of global warming. It explores three scenarios:

  • A reference scenario with no future CO2 emissions constraint (in this scenario, India’s emissions increase from just below 2 GtCO2 in 2010 to almost 8 GtCO2 in 2050);
  • A first low-carbon scenario with an emissions constraint of about 2.4 GtCO2 by 2050, equating to about 1.3 tCO2 per capita (and about 2 tCO2e per capita by 2050 in terms of all greenhouse gases), as part of a global CO2 limit of 12 GtCO2 by 2050, and the same per capita level of CO2. The global greenhouse gas emissions pathway from which this limit is derived has an approximately 50% chance of achieving a 2 degrees C limit to global warming
  • A second low-carbon scenario, with the same 2050 emissions target as the first, but with certain technology parameters (constraints and investment hurdle rates) specified to account for a range of Indian energy experts’ views on possible energy and technology developments in India.

The TIAM-UCL model used in this study is an integrated assessment model representing 16 different regions of the world, including a distinct India region. For each region, energy service demands are projected using socio-economic drivers, and the model determines a cost-optimal level of deployment of energy end-use and energy conversion technologies and resources to meet the energy service demands. Final energy demands depend on energy end-use technology efficiencies and primary energy demands depend on conversion efficiencies and losses.

This study was undertaken as part of the AVOID 1 programme on avoiding dangerous climate change (see for details).