Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Project Status: active

Title: Modeling optimal transition pathways to a low carbon economy in California

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Yeh, Sonia

Contractor: UC Davis

Contract Number: 09-346

Research Program Area: Economic Analysis, Climate Change

Topic Areas: Impacts

Research Summary:

Reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 80 percent in 2050 will require a significant transformation of the state's economy and energy sources affecting every sector including electricity production, transportation and fuels, rural and urban land use, industry, and agriculture. One of the challenges of developing strategies and policies to achieve this long-term climate change mitigation target is the difficulty of envisioning what California economy and energy sources might look like when we succeed. Scenario planning is a tool that can be used to help policy-makers define the strategies that will be most effective in achieving climate change goals. The primary objective of this project is to develop a set of plausible scenarios for the future of California that achieves the 2050 GHG reduction targets (i.e., 80 percent below 1990 levels). Scenarios will include many components related to the energy sources and the economy, and will be developed in consultation with ARB and other climate change programs. The scenarios would include technical, institutional, and political barriers that would need to be addressed to achieve the scenario.

The long-term scenario development project is consistent with the research need under AB 32, as it can also provide ARB with useful scenarios to meet the 2020 target. Furthermore, this project is a strategic extension of AB 32, and it is more forward-looking and aimed at satisfying the 2050 climate change mitigation goal. Therefore, this project is very important to ARB, and this research and developed tools are needed to assist ARB staff today and in the future.


For questions regarding research reports, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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