Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050
4.4. Scenario 4: Giraffe
4.4.1. Global Story
Gross Domestic Product
Every region sees this scenario as favourable to economic growth, driven by private sector cooperation and interdependence and strong cooperation, perhaps benign, between nations. This is limited only in Latin America by the inadequacies of existing infrastructures requiring significant government action, which does not occur in this scenario.
Neutral to declining rates of growth occur everywhere, although still positive. Higher migration to large cities and improved standards of living lead to declining birth rates.
Neutral to declining rates occur everywhere. This trend begins later in Africa and Latin America as technology transfer protocols take time to implement and create measurable effects.
The model leads to decreasing energy intensities although somewhat less than in the Lion scenario: 23% in 2020, 36% in 2035, and 40% in 2050 (see Figure 4-1 ).
The energy mix in this scenario is more diversified everywhere, although later in Africa and North America. In the former, this is due to the delayed development of renewable energy without strong government incentives. In the latter, it is because of non-conventional oil and biofuels becoming more dominant. Nuclear power does not enjoy a resurgence under this scenario because of the low government involvement.
This continues to increase but begins to stabilise late in the period, most notably in Latin America and Africa, due mostly to decreasing energy intensity.
In the model, primary energy (modern) production for this scenario increases between 30-40% by 2020, over 80% by 2035, and over 140% by 2050, the result of unfettered cooperation and technology dissemination by industry (see Figure 4-2 )
Due to the lack of strong government involvement, Asia, Africa, and Latin America see greenhouse gases increasing until perhaps late in the period. In Asia, this increase is a factor of 3 to 4 in 45 years with 70-80% being from the economies of China and India.
The model for this scenario predicts CO2 emissions much greater than with any scenarios involving significant government involvement: almost 40% more in 2020 than 2005, about 80% more in 2035, and almost 110% more in 2050. These levels are the highest of all scenarios (see Figure 4-3 ).
Tension tends to increase due to high oil prices driven by robust economies. The exception is Europe, which sees markedly decreasing demand because of those very same high oil prices.
Tension in the gas markets increases in all regions due to demand growth, industrial competition for the resource, and high oil prices. Europe sees the growth of high efficiency, gas-powered electricity generation in response to high oil prices. Latin America sees natural gas scarcity late in the period due to demand outstripping supply.
Tension is seen to increase in all regions, primarily as a result of weak government controls on emissions. Africa sees increased supplies of imported coal in its energy mix, but tension remains high during the period. The increase in tension in North America is lower than elsewhere as coal markets are well established and supplies are large. High efficiency coal (and gas) electricity generation result in increasing tension in Europe.
In the absence of strong government involvement, nuclear power grows more slowly than in the Lion scenario, but tensions increase because demand outstrips supplies that are too small because of government inaction. Asia sees growth in all three periods nevertheless; with the exception of North America, all regions believe that growth will increase significantly in the last period to meet growing demand in expanding economies. North America believes that the demand will be met earlier and growth will stabilise.
As in other scenarios, renewable energy demand outstrips supply, thereby increasing tension with little government ability to reduce these tensions. Africa sees cooperation enabling the introduction of renewable technologies. In Latin America, tension results in this scenario from a dilemma with hydropower, being desirable but forecasting difficulty for expansion due to environmental concerns (land use, loss of biodiversity, and resettlement). Solar and biofuels continue to expand.
The results with this energy source are mixed, but in all cases, tension decreases with time as the private sector provides more modern energy services in electricity and transport. This is not surprisingly slowest to happen in Africa. It is again not an issue in North America or Western Europe.
4.4.2. Winners, Losers and Dilemmas
Due to the high degree of cooperation and integration on an international scale, energy companies prosper more in this scenario than in the Leopard or the Elephant scenarios. However, because governments are crucial to any effective global regime for reducing carbon emissions, any attempt to do this will meet with less success than in either the Elephant or the Lion scenarios. Little progress is also foreseen in this scenario on access to energy and energy services for the poor regions of the world.
An obvious dilemma with this scenario is how, with less government engagement, to provide guidelines and keep markets in check.