Reducing global GHG emissions by replicating successful sector examples: the ‘good practice policies’ scenario

Mark Roelfsema, Hanna Fekete, Niklas Höhne, Michel den Elzen, Nicklas Forsell, Takeshi Kuramochi, Heleen de Coninck, Detlef P. van Vuuren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This article shows the potential impact on global GHG emissions in 2030, if all countries were to implement sectoral climate policies similar to successful examples already implemented elsewhere. This assessment was represented in the IMAGE and GLOBIOM/G4M models by replicating the impact of successful national policies at the sector level in all world regions. The first step was to select successful policies in nine policy areas. In the second step, the impact on the energy and land-use systems or GHG emissions was identified and translated into model parameters, assuming that it would be possible to translate the impacts of the policies to other countries. As a result, projected annual GHG emission levels would be about 50 GtCO2e by 2030 (2% above 2010 levels), compared to the 60 GtCO2e in the ‘current policies’ scenario. Most reductions are achieved in the electricity sector through expanding renewable energy, followed by the reduction of fluorinated gases, reducing venting and flaring in oil and gas production, and improving industry efficiency. Materializing the calculated mitigation potential might not be as straightforward given different country priorities, policy preferences and circumstances. Key policy insights Considerable emissions reductions globally would be possible, if a selection of successful policies were replicated and implemented in all countries worldwide. This would significantly reduce, but not close, the emissions gap with a 2°C pathway. From the selection of successful policies evaluated in this study, those implemented in the sector ‘electricity supply’ have the highest impact on global emissions compared to the ‘current policies’ scenario. Replicating the impact of these policies worldwide could lead to emission and energy trends in the renewable electricity, passenger transport, industry (including fluorinated gases) and buildings sector, that are close to those in a 2°C scenario. Using successful policies and translating these to policy impact per sector is a more reality-based alternative to most mitigation pathways, which need to make theoretical assumptions on policy cost-effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1113
Number of pages11
JournalClimate Policy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • 2°C limit
  • Enhancing ambition
  • integrated assessment modelling
  • sector indicators
  • successful policies


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