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Deriving decarbonization targets and pathways – A case study for the automotive industry

Poschmann, Justus; Bach, Vanessa; Finkbeiner, Matthias

Climate models and decarbonization scenarios use carbon budgets to distribute emission allowances and derive reduction targets for sectoral developments to limit global warming. These requirements are often not aligned with corporate climate targets due to missing targeting approaches for sectors and scopes as well as differences between absolute and intensity targets. Therefore, the aim of this paper is the development of an allocation scheme by combining frameworks for CO2eq accounting like the ISO 14040, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the IPCC Guidelines for inventory accounting to link sectoral carbon budgets to stages of product life cycles and vice versa. To calculate carbon budgets and reduction targets, a case study for the automotive industry is conducted. Consequently, average data sets of emission reporting, studies and LCAs for material compositions, forecasts on vehicles sales and the shares of electrified products are used. Depending on the applied decarbonization scenarios, different reduction trajectories aligned with pathways to limit global warming well below 2 °C and respectively to 1.5 °C are determined. As a result, the company has to reduce their absolute emissions from 2019 to 2030 by −25% to −46% equal to an intensity target of −32% to −51%.
Published in: Journal of Cleaner Production, 10.1016/j.jclepro.2023.137256, Elsevier