Kick Starting Strategic Partnerships for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement in India

Expert Dialogue on Modelling for Low-Carbon Economy

GIZ India organised the first workshop in the frame of the EU project Strategic partnerships for the implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA). The expert dialogue on modelling for low-carbon economy took place on 23 March 2018 in New Delhi, kickstarting the G20 Partnership for Climate which the European Union (EU) projects aim to strengthen. The event included presentations on Climate Modelling followed by discussions related to policy advisory activities both in India and the EU.

Experts from the EU`s Joint Research Centre (JRC) presented models and results including POLES (Prospective Outlook on the Long-term Energy System) and GEM-E3 (General Equilibrium Model for Energy, Economy and Environment) with focus on emission reductions till 2030 and 2050.  The experts discussed the lead question on how modelling exercises can contribute to the development of sectoral policies, for example in the energy and transport sector. Furthermore, results relevant for EU and India were presented showcasing PRIMES (Price-Induced Market Equilibrium System) as well as GAINS (Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Information and Simulation) and the Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM) highlighting the positive correlation between emission reduction and improving air pollution control as well as contributions to a variety of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Indian institutions presented research and modelling exercises contributing to policy advisory related to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), air pollution control strategies, Ozone and addressing the water-energy nexus. Participating Indian Institutions included TERI, IRADe (Integrated Research for Action and Development), Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), Center for Study of Science, Technology & Policy (C-STEP), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), Brookings India, Prayas Pune and KPMG.

Several scenarios related to future Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in India were presented, underlining the need for further reduction in cost of renewables and storage solutions. The experts also pointed out that decarbonised electrification across end-uses is a must for deep decarbonisation in India and that behavioral changes play a significant role in reducing GHG emissions. Furthermore, the need for efficient management of existing fossil-based capacities in the electricity generation sector was discussed, including the challenges to prevent lock-ins and build the infrastructure for reliable grids, sustainable cities, charging station for EVs etc.

The experts highlighted challenges related to the availability of data, limited linkages between different low carbon models, limitations of models to include market issues and the lack of updated results considering recent policy and technology changes. Determining the impact of policy instruments on price and adoption of low carbon solutions was also emphasised as a critical area. Concerning mid-century strategies, the need for further clarity on available carbon budget and its allocation across different sectors was pointed out. The limited modelling capacity and lack of focus on land use, transport and non-CO2 gases was also mentioned. It was emphasised that linking mid-century strategies and NDC related modelling with other national priorities such as SDGs, water and air pollution, energy poverty, agriculture, forests would be beneficial for the nation.

Representatives from the EU announced that the SPIPA project will strengthen the low carbon economy modelling landscape in India with financial and technical collaborations between institutions in India and the EU.