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Scenarios_and_Projections publications: Scenarios and Projections

World Energy Outlook

New Policies Scenario of the World Energy Outlook broadly serves as the IEA baseline scenario. It takes account of broad policy commitments and plans that have been announced by countries, including national pledges to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and plans to phase out fossil-energy subsidies, even if the measures to implement these commitments have yet to be identified or announced.

Current Policies Scenario assumes no changes in policies from the mid-point of the year of publication (previously called the Reference Scenario).

450 Scenario sets out an energy pathway consistent with the goal of limiting the global increase in temperature to 2°C by limiting concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to around 450 parts per million of CO2.

Energy Technology Perspectives

- The 2°C Scenario (2DS) is the focus of Energy Technology Perspectives. The 2DS describes an energy system consistent with an emissions trajectory that recent climate science research indicates would give an 80% chance of limiting average global temperature increase to 2°C. It sets the target of cutting energy-related CO2 emissions by more than half in 2050 (compared with 2009) and ensuring that they continue to fall thereafter. Importantly, the 2DS acknowledges that transforming the energy sector is vital, but not the sole solution: the goal can only be achieved provided that CO2 and GHG emissions in non-energy sectors are also reduced. The 2DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook 450 Scenario through 2035.

- The 4°C Scenario (4DS) takes into account recent pledges made by countries to limit emissions and step up efforts to improve energy efficiency. It serves as the primary benchmark in ETP 2012 when comparisons are made between scenarios. Projecting a long-term temperature rise of 4°C, the 4DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook New Policies Scenario through 2035 (IEA, 2011). In many respects, this is already an ambitious scenario that requires significant changes in policy and technologies. Moreover, capping the temperature increase at 4°C requires significant additional cuts in emissions in the period after 2050.

- The 6°C Scenario (6DS) is largely an extension of current trends. By 2050, energy use almost doubles (compared with 2009) and total GHG emissions rise even more. In the absence of efforts to stabilise atmospheric concentrations of GHGs, average global temperature rise is projected to be at least 6°C in the long term. The 6DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook Current Policy Scenario through 2035.