From Climate Science and Scenarios to Energy Policy

Anders Enggaard Bødker

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The energy sector is key for successful climate change mitigation as it accounts for about 60% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In this thesis, I compare and evaluate various lowcarbon energy scenarios in order to identify what the feasible scenarios recommend that we do politically. In order to assess feasibility, I construct parameters for key assumptions in the scenarios and bench-mark these against historical trends. This suggests that the feasible scenarios utilize all available low-carbon technologies and instruments, which is an important political recommendation if climate change mitigation is to succeed according to the goals our politicians have agreed upon in the Paris Accord. Next, I analyze the policies of two European frontrunners of the green transition – Denmark and Germany. Using a discourse analysis, I find that science very rarely feature in the underlying discourses impacting energy policies. Instead, other interests such as economic costs or competitiveness dominate the underlying discourses. As a result, these countries neglect specific low-carbon technologies. This suggests that the scientific recommendations are not followed in either country. Finally, I discuss why this discrepancy between what is scientifically necessary and politically acceptable exist. Here I rely on policy theories and insights as well as expert interviews in order to explain the discrepancies between science and politics. Finally, an ideational discussion on the role of science in policymaking will be explored.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages93