Informing India’s energy and climate debate: policy lessons from modelling studies

What should India put forward as the mitigation component of its climate contribution (or ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ (INDC))? Since energy accounts for 77% of India’s greenhouse gas emissions, this question can only be answered as one part of a larger discussion about India’s energy future. To inform this discussion, models provide one potentially useful tool, if used appropriately. It is important that assumptions are clear, relevant policy questions are credibly explored and that results are clearly explained. This study conducts a comparative review of seven recent India focused (not global) modelling studies that cover CO2 emissions from the energy and industry sectors to explore Indian energy and emissions futures until 2030, with the explicit intention of informing several policy salient questions. The analysis focuses on the substantive results and bases of the reference scenarios that project the effect of current policies, and comments on the construction and comparability of the various low-carbon policy scenarios.