Reinforcing the Paris Agreement: Ambitious scenarios for the decarbonisation of the Central Asian and Caspian region
DATE: August 1st, 2023
AUTHORS: Gabriele Cassetti | Alessia Elia | Maurizio Gargiulo | Alessandro Chiodi
JOURNAL: Renewable & Sustainable Energy Transition
TITLE: Reinforcing the Paris Agreement: Ambitious scenarios for the decarbonisation of the Central Asian and Caspian region
For its abundant fossil resources, the Central Asia and Caspian region plays a strategic role in the energy security of major markets, such as Europe and China. However, this dependence on export, added to a firm reliance on fossil fuels for internal consumption, represents a significant challenge for the decarbonisation of the region.
In this paper, we perform an energy scenario analysis of four countries in the region (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan), aiming to investigate how ambitious their regional decarbonisation targets for 2050 are in view of the Paris Agreement. We also develop a net-zero emission pathway to reinforce the regional climate ambition in the long term. As a novelty in the literature, the scenario analysis is co-designed with regional stakeholders through an engagement process that we have carried out from December 2020 to May 2021.
The analysis is performed with the TIMES-CAC energy system model. Results show that current regional energy policies are insufficient for achieving ambitious climate targets in the long term (2050 and beyond). The lack of a long-term strategy to decrease the dependence on export increases the influence of importing countries’ energy policies. Even in a decarbonised scenario, the role of China remains significant, while the dependence on the European Union decreases. To limit the pressure from other countries in the energy transition, the region should start implementing a rigorous energy planning process today to fill the “ambition gap” and achieve carbon neutrality in a 40-year horizon.