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Séminaire du CIRED : Daniel Puig (UNEP-DTU Partnership)

publié le , mis à jour le

The accountability imperative for quantifying the uncertainty of emission forecasts


Governmental climate change mitigation targets are typically developed with the aid of forecasts of greenhouse-gas emissions. The robustness and credibility of such forecasts depends, among other issues, on the extent to which forecasting approaches can reflect prevailing uncertainties. We apply a transparent and replicable method to quantify the uncertainty associated with projections of gross domestic product growth rates for Mexico, a key driver of greenhouse-gas emissions. We use those projections to produce probabilistic forecasts of greenhouse-gas emissions for the country. We contrast our probabilistic forecasts with Mexico’s governmental deterministic forecasts. We show that, because they fail to reflect uncertainty, deterministic forecasts are ill-suited for use in target-setting processes. We argue that (i) guidelines should be agreed upon, to ensure that governmental forecasts meet certain minimum quality standards, and (ii) governments should be held accountable for the appropriateness of the forecasting approach applied to prepare governmental forecasts, especially when those forecasts are used to derive climate change mitigation targets.