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As part of the negotiating process for a post-Kyoto climate policy regime, several developing economies have announced carbon emission targets for 2020. China and India’s commitments are framed as emissions intensity reductions by 40 to 45 per cent and 20 to 25 per cent respectively between 2005 and 2020. But how feasible are these proposed emissions intensity reductions, and how do they compare with the targeted reductions in the United States and the European Union? In this research report we use a stochastic frontier model to explain the variation in countries’ energy intensities. We use the model to produce emissions projections for China and India under a number of scenarios that consider various rates of technological change and changes in the share of non-fossil energy. We find that China is likely to need to adopt ambitious carbon mitigation policies in order to achieve its stated target, and that its targeted reductions in emissions intensity are on par with those implicit in the United States and European Union targets. India’s target is less ambitious and might be met with only limited or even no dedicated mitigation policies.


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