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Energy and Climate Scenarios

The need to evaluate business strategies in a changing environment and test against the very significant fuel type changes in the future under low emissions or net-zero cases is fast becoming a requirement of shareholders and investors. Being able to access reasonable future scenarios is therefore a critical component of the process.

Key questions this service answers:

  • How fast will various transitions take place and change the use of energy types?
  • What are the ways in which the world could move to a low emissions pathway that reaches the Paris Climate agreement goals?
  • What policies and metrics are governments using to affect climate change and air pollution?
  • How and where will hydrocarbons compete if demand declines in the future?
  • What are the technology enablers and costs?
  • How will competitive advantage change?
Learn more about Energy and Climate Scenarios See how we can help you on your journey to decarbonization
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2021 Energy Scenarios and Net Zero Cases See the different pathways to a net zero future
Climate & Sustainability Hub Access selected energy research, analysis, and insights in one integrated platform

IHS Markit has decades of experience in the development and use of integrated, long-term scenarios that project energy use and emissions by fuel type, country and sector. Our Energy and Climate Scenarios include three bottom-up forecasts to 2050 and two low emissions cases that are “back-cast” from a pre-determined goal of a 1.5°C pathway. Each of the five long-term outlooks encompasses different assumptions and drivers and can be used to test future business strategies, including economic growth, policy, politics, trade, technology evolution, consumer behavior, etc.

  • Three forward looking scenarios (IHS Markit base case “Inflections”; dysfunctional world “Discord”; and more climate-aggressive, greener outlook “Green Rules”) start from today and project outlooks for energy markets and emissions at a country and sector level under a set of articulated assumptions around the evolution of policies, consumer behavior, costs, technologies, geopolitics and economics. All three are considered plausible outcomes by our experts and our clients, with much debate within and across companies as to which is the most likely based on different perspectives. Please Note: Two of these scenarios were updated in July 2021.
  • Two net-zero cases start with the pre-determined outcome of being on a pathway to prevent the average global temperature from rising more than 1.5°C/1.6°C by 2050 compared with pre-industrial times. They are hence “back-cast” to 2020 and would require radical change to be achieved compared with history.

    We provide a net-zero scenarios with a high use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) applied to large stationary emitters in the power and industrial sectors. This would assume that all new gas and coal-fired power generation in emerging and mature markets would require CCS units, with some existing facilities being retrofit. Robust carbon pricing and policy mechanisms would be required to underpin such an outlook.

    We provide a net-zero scenario with very limited employment of CCS—as a contrast to most of the other low emissions outlooks that are available. Such an outlook would assume that societies around the world do not wish to enable new hydrocarbon developments through the use of carbon capture, and would instead be based on a massive buildout of low-cost renewables, significant advances in energy efficiencies, changes in consumer behavior, and comprehensive fuel switching across all end use sectors.

Deliverables include:

  • Energy Scenarios and Net-zero cases: data sets, descriptions, and analysis of implications
  • Scenarios signposts
  • Climate policy country profiles for the G20 countries
  • Climate Energy Transition Indices
  • Strategic insights and reports
  • Analytics dashboards
  • APIs
  • Workshops and webinars
  • Access to experts

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Rick Vidal

Mr. Vidal is responsible for coordinating across the energy, economics, chemicals and automotive sectors at IHS Markit to build and continually update the company's long-term energy scenario outlooks, as well as help inform customers of the broad range of dynamics driving the global energy business. He directs research for the IHS Markit Energy and Climate Scenarios service and is a principal thought leader in IHS Markit's ongoing scenario analysis and development. Before joining IHS Markit, Mr. Vidal worked with Sandia National Laboratories, performing comparative studies of international energy policies and technology programs. Mr. Vidal holds a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University and an Master of Arts from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the United States.

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Paul McConnell

Mr. McConnell is an Executive Director with the Energy and Climate Scenarios team at IHS Markit. His work covers energy and carbon markets, long-term decarbonisation trends, climate policy, and strategic responses to climate change and the energy transition. He is highly experienced in both development of energy and climate scenarios, as well as their application in assessing climate-related risk and opportunity for organisations across the oil & gas, power, industry and financial sectors. Prior to IHS Markit, Mr. McConnell led the climate transition risk team for a leading global sustainability consultancy. He also has many years' experience working in research roles across the energy industry. Mr. McConnell holds an MSc in Global Environmental Change and International Policy from Imperial College, London.

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