Equity Assessment of Global Mitigation Pathways in the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report

T. Jayaraman, Tejal Kanitkar, and Akhil Mythri

The Working Group III contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment
Report has based its analysis of global mitigation pathways on a
select subset of only 1202 scenarios out of the 2425 scenarios
submitted to it. The IPCC authors decided the vetting/selection
criteria and hence the assessed scenarios are not representative
of the literature.

The inclusion of the UNFCCC principles of equity and common
but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities
(CBDR&RC) were not part of these criteria.

The equity assessment presented here was carried out for a
majority of scenarios corresponding to the temperature goals of
the Paris Agreement that were part of the IPCC WGIII assessment.

The key overall finding is that all scenarios taken together project
a highly unequal future world that perpetuates most inequalities.
Growth and development are restricted for developing countries,
and not just fossil fuel consumption.

Per capita GDP and consumption growth are projected
to be much higher for developed countries compared to
developing countries.

Primary energy consumption (which includes renewables) is
projected to grow for all developed regions, except Europe
where it declines. Primary energy consumption is projected
to decline for all developing regions,
except Sub-Saharan
Africa registering a minor increase.

Annex-I countries until net zero continue to appropriate a
disproportionate share of the global carbon budget across
all scenario categories. The greater the remaining carbon
budget the greater the projection of fossil fuel consumption
for developed nations.

Emissions reductions for developing regions from 2020 to
2030 are comparable to or higher than the reductions for
developed regions.

These findings indicate that these scenarios do not take account
of equity and CBDR&RC. The models and scenarios have little to
do with distributive justice.

Developing countries therefore would be well advised not to use
the scenarios and global mitigation pathways as the benchmark
or reference for negotiations due to the underlying highly
unequal regional outcomes on which these scenarios are based.

This policy brief is based on the forthcoming paper Kanitkar, T., Mythri, A., & Jayaraman, T. (2022, November 3). Equity Assessment of Global Mitigation Pathways in the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. The preprint can be accessed at osf.io/p46ty

The policy brief can be accessed here

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