Looking back, Schmidt believes the diplomatic fiasco in Copenhagen was primarily driven by the fear of economic losses. Earlier that year, management consultants McKinsey & Company had published the second of its much-cited marginal abatement cost curves. This predicted what the cost of avoiding 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent would be in 2030 on the basis of various technologies. “Some of the forecasts were far more pessimistic than what actually ended up happening,” says Schmidt.
For example, the authors assumed that e-mobility would remain a niche market until at least 2030. Since then, however, over 8.5 million electric vehicles