Modelling Long-term Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies towards Climate Neutrality

in Special Issue   Posted on January 6, 2021 

Information for the Special Issue

Special Issue Call for Papers:

Special Issue in

Computers & Industrial Engineering:

Modelling Long-term Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies towards Climate Neutrality

(short as “Modelling Long-term GHG Reduction”)

Aim of the Special Issue

More and more countries are engaging on some form of climate neutrality pathways.

The European Union announced in its 2050 Long-term Strategy[1] for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction the objective of climate neutrality, understanding by this an economy with net zero GHG emissions.

This was indorsed in 2019. Concerning the intermediate level of 2030[2], in the present discussions under the European Green Deal, the European Commission proposed a GHG emission cut of 55%, while the European Parliament is proposing 60%.

In that frame, EU Member States are required to develop national long-term strategies on how they plan to achieve the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement and EU objectives. Germany had contributed early to this development with the Climate Action Plan 2050[3] and the long-term goal to become greenhouse gas-neutral by 2050. The medium-term target is to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Germany by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. In its Climate Action Plan 2050, the German government also lays down 2030 targets for the individual sectors, describes necessary development pathways, lists initial measures for implementation and establishes a process for monitoring and updating policies and measures.

In September 2020, at the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping announced that China sets a target to become carbon-neutral by 2060. Furthermore, President Xi Jinping stated that emissions will peak before 2030 which will have significant positive effects for combatting climate change since China currently contributes about 28% of global emissions. The carbon-neutrality objective will be taken up in the 14th five-year plan (2021-2025). Tsinghua University (Institute for Climate Change and Sustainable Development ICCSD) published recently an investigation on possible path to GHG neutrality for China[4]. According to the study, China must achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions (carbon neutrality) by 2050, with emissions of all greenhouse gases reduced by 90% compared to 2020, if it is to achieve GHG neutrality by 2060. Though this differs from the policy target announced, the study shows important details in how to reach carbon neutrality for China. It also shows the potential for China, to agree with Europe on a climate neutrality approach.

In October, both Japan and South Korea also announced ambitious climate goals for 2050: Japan aims for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. South Korea committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The new president of the US, Jo Biden, also announced that he is striving for net zero emissions by 2050.

With these countries/political entities having announced climate neutrality targets, about two thirds of the global economy, about half the world’s emissions and close to 75% of our fossil fuel export markets –will have net zero goals for 2050 or shortly afterwards. This is a massive shift.

It is the aim of the Special Issue to explore the climate neutrality strategies of the countries/political entities mentioned above, but also of further countries worldwide.

Scope of the Special Issue:

This special issue aims at attracting contribution from scholars and practitioners in the field of climate neutrality, notably analytical work based on energy system modelling which helps to understand which are possibly pathways to climate neutrality, in how far these pathways present common features and in how far they are country specific.

We invite authors to submit scientific papers that allow to analyse strategies to climate neutrality. The Special Issue focusses on modelling and scenario analysis, notably of the role of the electricity sector, to explore this transition process to climate neutrality.

The electricity sector is key in achieving climate neutrality. Variable renewable energy (VRE) sources are an important pillar for fostering a pathway to greenhouse gas neutrality. In the electricity sector, they are already becoming mainstream. In a country like Germany VRE are exceeding 40% in electricity generation and are planned to surpass 60% in a decade from now. Climate neutrality in 2050 requires to reach a full decarbonisation of the power sector and demand sectors. China has reached 10% VRE within a few years and will – given the strong accent of the country on a renewable energy strategy reach much higher shares also in the next decades, in order to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2060. This leads to a new design of the energy system: flexibility enablers such as sector coupling, power-to-X, demand response, interconnectors, storage etc. become essential and are interacting in a complex way in the move towards a climate neutral society.

This process has to be accompanied by changes in electricity market designs. The Special Issue therefore explores policy options how electricity market designs and electricity market reforms can accompany the transformation process.

Both empirical and conceptual, quantitative and qualitative original research studies are welcomed with a focus on modelling climate neutrality pathways. Case studies and practical applications are encouraged.

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Climate neutrality strategies in countries/political entities such as China, the European Union, US, Japan, South Korea and other countries
  • Energy system modelling with a focus to establish pathways to climate neutrality and intermediate targets
  • The role of main levers contributing to climate neutrality such as

    • the Energy Efficiency First Principle (EE1) / Circular economy
    • electrification of end-uses
    • decarbonisation of the power sector notably with high shares of Variable Renewable Energy Sources,
    • the contribution of the hydrogen economy to climate neutrality
    • natural and man-made carbon sinks (the latter in combination with bio-energy) and their contribution to climate neutrality.
  • The role of new electricity market designs to foster the path to climate neutrality.

Submission Guidelines:

Manuscripts should be submitted through the publisher’s online system, Elsevier Editorial Manager (EM) at Please follow the instructions described in the “Guide for Authors”, given on the main page of the EES website. Please make sure you select “Special Issue” as Article Type and “Modelling Long-term Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies towards Climate Neutrality” as Section/Category (short as “Modelling Long-term GHG Reduction”). In preparing their manuscript, the authors are asked to closely follow the “Instructions to Authors”. Submissions will be reviewed according to C&IE’s rigorous standards and procedures through a double-blind peer review by at least two qualified reviewers.

Publication Schedule:

  • Deadline for manuscript submission: 31 March 2021
  • Review report: 31 May 2021
  • Revised paper submission deadline: 30 June 2021
  • Notification of final acceptance: 31 August 2021
  • Expected Publication (Tentative): November 2021

Guest Editors:

Prof. Ying Fan, Dean of the School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, Beijing, China. Email: [email protected]

Prof. Wolfgang Eichhammer, 1. Competence Center Energy Policy and Energy Markets, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Breslauer Str. 48, 76139 Karlsruhe, Germany 2. Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands. Email: [email protected]

A Prof. Jin-Hua Xu, Institutes of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Email: [email protected]

A Prof. Bo-Wen Yi, School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, Beijing, China. Email: [email protected]

Other Special Issues on this journal

Closed Special Issues