Global emission scenarios: How to turn a zero carbon economy into an opportunity?

This PhD project will investigate the new set of SSP-RCP emission and concentration scenarios, to be released in 2016/2017. One focus could be to look at the the dynamics of potentially swift technology shifts that could - on a global level - lead to emission budgets consistent with warming of less than 2C or 1.5C, the Paris Agreement goals. From those insights, strategic investment opportunities as well as policy implications (for example sustainable biomass and CCS) could be derived. Further areas of research will include: the extent to which current investments in the energy sector could become stranded investments; the dynamics of penetration rates of renewable energies once they become economically competitive in more market sectors; and the technological, institutional and regulatory limits to penetration rates. Interested PhD candidates will be asked to frame the subject matter according to their own research interests.

A/Prof Malte Meinshausen is the Director of the Australian-German College at The University of Melbourne and is affiliated with Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. He holds a Ph. D. in "Climate Science & Policy", a Diploma in "Environmental Sciences" from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and an M.Sc. in "Environmental Change and Management" from the University of Oxford, UK. Before joining the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in 2006, he was a Post-Doc at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He has been contributing author to various chapters in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4). Until May 2011, he was leading the PRIMAP ("Potsdam Real-Time Integrated Model for probabilistic Assessment of emission Path") research group at PIK before relocating to Melbourne. Since 2005, he is a scientific advisor to the German Environmental Ministry related to international climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC. Since 2014, he investigates methods to derive future climate targets for Australia in the context of a Future Fellow ARC project.