World Energy Scenarios showcased in new carbon emissions calculator

Posted on 30 January 2015

The World Energy Council’s scenarios have been showcased in a new online tool for businesses, NGOs and governments to consider the options for cutting carbon emissions and the trade-offs for energy and land use to 2050.

Global_Calculator_Cover1The Global Calculator is an interactive tool that has been built in a project led by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in partnership with China’s Energy Research Institute of National Development and Reform Commission.

The Calculator showcases the Council’s Jazz and Symphony scenarios from the World Energy Scenarios study as example pathways for global energy developments to the year 2050.

Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council, commented:

“The energy sector is exposed to unprecedented uncertainty and high price volatility has become the new normal. Understanding the critical factors shaping the sector is crucial to enable policymakers and business leaders in making robust decisions and deliver the resilient energy infrastructure that we need as a foundation for our future prosperity.

The World Energy Council’s Jazz and Symphony scenarios have already proven to be a great catalyst for dialogue and we are pleased that they are being recognised by the UK government as a useful reference.”

The Council’s Scenarios models have been built and provided by project partner, the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). The Global Calculator, co-funded by Climate-KIC, a EU climate innovation initiative, was unveiled on 28 January at launch events in London and Beijing. The tool was built in collaboration with a number of international organisations from the US, China, India and Europe.

Stefan Hirschberg, Head of Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis at the Paul Scherrer Institute, said: “The models for generating relevant global energy scenarios are highly complex and data-intensive. The Global Calculator is a very useful tool for graphic representation of some of the key results, for comparing the different pathways and their implications and for exploring the sensitivities to variation of some key parameters. Thus, it will help to disseminate some of the key results of scenario studies and promote better understanding of the influence of selected driving factors on the results.”

According to DECC, the tool shows that cutting carbon emissions to limit global temperatures to a 2°C rise can be achieved while improving living standards.

The UK’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said:

“For the first time this Global Calculator shows that everyone in the world can prosper while limiting global temperature rises to 2°C, preventing the most serious impacts of climate change. Yet the calculator is also very clear that we must act now to change how we use and generate energy and how we use our land if we are going to achieve this green growth.

The UK is leading on climate change both at home and abroad. Britain’s global calculator can help the world’s crucial climate debate this year. Along with the many country-based 2050 calculators we pioneered, we are working hard to demonstrate to the global family that climate action benefits people.”


Using data reviewed by over 150 international experts, the free and interactive Global Calculator shows that despite expectations that the world’s population will rise from 7 billion currently to 10 billion by 2050, it is physically possible for everyone to have a good standard of living while limiting global temperature rises to 2°C.

Global_Calculator_ToolHowever, the tool shows that to be successful the world needs to act now and transform the technologies and fuels being used and make smarter use of land for food, forestry and fuel.For example, the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of electricity globally would need to fall by at least 90% and our forests protected and expanded by 5-15% by 2050.



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Use the Global Calculator tool: