Group for Research in Decision Analysis


The Canadian contribution to avoiding dangerous climate changes: An analysis of technological options and energy trade

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Canada was a proactive participant in developing the Paris Accord (COP 21; December, 2015), and committed to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% below 2005 levels, by 2030. Canada also presented its Mid-Century Plan at the COP 22 meeting in Marrakech (November, 2016), which also included further reductions in GHG emissions of 70 to 90% below 2005 levels, by 2050.

In response to these very challenging commitments, we have carried out a series of analyses for deriving optimal solutions for progressive GHG mitigation to 2050, for all of Canada, while also reflecting impacts of a rapidly growing economy. These analyses have been carried out with the aid of the NATEM energy optimization model.

In this chapter, we describe the results of four separate sets of analyses, including reductions of up to 80% in GHG emissions from the energy sector, relative to 1990. The results of this study serve to demonstrate the magnitude, complexity and high cost for Canada for achieving the very ambitious GHG mitigation targets agreed at the COP 21 and 22 meetings. The results also serve to demonstrate the merits of using a comprehensive optimization model for demonstrating the overall mix of GHG mitigation options for achieving national mitigation at minimum cost for all of Canada.

, 17 pages