Timing of Mitigation and Technology Availability in Achieving a Low-Carbon World

This paper analyzes the economic and investment implications of a series of climate mitigation scenarios, characterized by different levels of ambition for long-term stabilization goals and transitional pathways. Results indicate that although milder climate objectives can be achieved at moderate costs, stringent stabilization paths, compatible with the 2°C target, might require significant economic resources. Innovation and technology are shown to be able to mitigate, but not structurally alter, this trade-off. Technologies that allow capturing CO2 from the atmosphere are shown to be important for expanding the feasibility space of stringent climate policies, though only if deployed at a scale which would represent a tremendous challenge. In general, the analysis indicates that the timing of mitigation is an important factor of cost containment, with early action being desirable. It also elaborates on the set of mitigation strategies and policies that would be required to achieve climate protection at maximum efficiency.