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    Environmental co-benefits and adverse side-effects of alternative power sector decarbonization strategies
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2019) Luderer, Gunnar; Pehl, Michaja; Arvesen, Anders; Gibon, Thomas; Bodirsky, Benjamin L.; de Boer, Harmen Sytze; Fricko, Oliver; Hejazi, Mohamad; Humpenöder, Florian; Iyer, Gokul; Mima, Silvana; Mouratiadou, Ioanna; Pietzcker, Robert C.; Popp, Alexander; van den Berg, Maarten; van Vuuren, Detlef; Hertwich, Edgar G.
    A rapid and deep decarbonization of power supply worldwide is required to limit global warming to well below 2 °C. Beyond greenhouse gas emissions, the power sector is also responsible for numerous other environmental impacts. Here we combine scenarios from integrated assessment models with a forward-looking life-cycle assessment to explore how alternative technology choices in power sector decarbonization pathways compare in terms of non-climate environmental impacts at the system level. While all decarbonization pathways yield major environmental co-benefits, we find that the scale of co-benefits as well as profiles of adverse side-effects depend strongly on technology choice. Mitigation scenarios focusing on wind and solar power are more effective in reducing human health impacts compared to those with low renewable energy, while inducing a more pronounced shift away from fossil and toward mineral resource depletion. Conversely, non-climate ecosystem damages are highly uncertain but tend to increase, chiefly due to land requirements for bioenergy.
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    Alternative carbon price trajectories can avoid excessive carbon removal
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021) Strefler, Jessica; Kriegler, Elmar; Bauer, Nico; Luderer, Gunnar; Pietzcker, Robert C.; Giannousakis, Anastasis; Edenhofer, Ottmar
    The large majority of climate change mitigation scenarios that hold warming below 2 °C show high deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR), resulting in a peak-and-decline behavior in global temperature. This is driven by the assumption of an exponentially increasing carbon price trajectory which is perceived to be economically optimal for meeting a carbon budget. However, this optimality relies on the assumption that a finite carbon budget associated with a temperature target is filled up steadily over time. The availability of net carbon removals invalidates this assumption and therefore a different carbon price trajectory should be chosen. We show how the optimal carbon price path for remaining well below 2 °C limits CDR demand and analyze requirements for constructing alternatives, which may be easier to implement in reality. We show that warming can be held at well below 2 °C at much lower long-term economic effort and lower CDR deployment and therefore lower risks if carbon prices are high enough in the beginning to ensure target compliance, but increase at a lower rate after carbon neutrality has been reached.