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International Energy Agency Climate-Change Policy Scenario

The International Energy Agency (IEA) issued a forecast of world energy consumption and use, and for the first time included a scenario projecting the impacts of taking steps to stabilize greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at about 450 parts per million by 2030. This “450 Secnario” would limit overall temperature increases to 2 degrees C., versus a rise in global temperature of as much as 6 degrees if no efforts to curb carbon dioxide are made. The report compares this 450 Scenario to its “reference scenario,” its projections of energy production, prices and consumption assuming no policy changes are enacted.

Its conclusions:

Under the reference scenario, oil prices would increase to $87/bbl in 2015, $100/bbl by 2020, and $115/bbl by 2030 (in 2008 dollars). Under the 450 Scenario, the oil price would level off at $90/bbl by 2020.

Natural gas prices would grow 17% by 3020 under the 450 Scenario, or an average of 0.7%/year.  In 2030, gas prices would be 17% lower than under the reference scenario.

Although significant additional investment would be necessary to meet the 450 Scenario, this investment would be more than offset by fuel cost savings. Oil and gas import costs for OECD countries would be much less. Oil and gas import costs for China and India would be 30% lower in China and India in 2030 than in the reference scenario.

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