European energy experts believe Paris climate deal is unlikely, survey reveals

by Search Gate staff. Published Fri 18 Sep 2016 14:45
New analysis suggests no global deal will not affect national targets
New analysis suggests no global deal will not affect national targets

The upcoming UN Climate Summit in Paris is unlikely to lead to a legally binding international agreement, according to a new survey of leading energy experts in France and Germany.

However, the research suggests ambitious national climate policy targets in both countries would not be watered down if the next climate summit failed.

The key findings of the latest ZEW and GEM Energy Market Barometers, the twice-yearly surveys carried out among German and French energy experts, found in both countries a mandatory climate agreement would spur investments in the energy and the electrical engineering sectors in particular.

The next UN Climate Summit will be held in early December this year in Paris. It is hoped to lead to a break-through in climate negotiations, with developing and developed countries agreeing on a binding global agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

According to more than 70% of the German experts and more than 60% of the French experts, the Paris Climate Summit will not lead to a legally binding international agreement. Yet for both countries, about 80% of the experts believe that the national climate targets will remain unchanged even if the Paris Climate Summit fails to produce a legally-binding agreement.

“In Germany and France citizens have very strong preferences towards climate change. As a result, national climate policy is rather independent of the outcome of international negotiations,” explains Joachim Schleich, Professor of Energy Economics at Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM).

About 75% of the French energy experts believe a mandatory climate agreement would have a positive or very positive effect on the investment climate in the energy and electrical engineering sectors in France. In comparison, about 50% of the German energy experts believe such an agreement would benefit investments in these same sectors in Germany.

“About a third of the German experts is more cautious, and evaluates the effect of a binding agreement on these key sectors to be neutral. In light of recent overcapacities in German electricity generation, as well as in the solar panel industry, this difference between France and Germany does not come as a surprise,” states Dr. Nikolas Wölfing, energy economist at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW).



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