Synthesis Report - Question 7

Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report

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Adoption of opportunities including greenhouse gas-reducing technologies and measures may require overcoming barriers through the implementation of policy measures.



Table 7-2: Estimates of potential global greenhouse gas emission reductions in the year 2010: land use, land-use change, and forestry.
Categories of Mitigation Options Potential Emission Reductions in 2010
[Mt C yr-1]
Potential Emission Reductions
[Mt C]
Afforestation/reforestation (AR)a 197-584   Includes carbon in above- and below-ground biomass. Excludes carbon in soils and in dead organic matter.
Reducing deforestation (D)b   1,788 Potential for reducing deforestation is very uncertain for the tropics and could be in error by as much as ±50%.
Improved management within a land use (IM)c 570   Assumed to be the best available suite of management practices for each land use and climatic zone.
Land-use change (LC)c 435    
Total 1,202-1,589 1,788  
a. Source: SRLULUCF Table SPM-3. Based on IPCC definitional scenario. Information is not available for other definitional scenarios. Potential refers to the estimated range of accounted average stock change for the period 2008-2012 (Mt C yr-1).
b. Source: SRLULUCF Table SPM-3. Based on IPCC definitional scenario. Information is not available for other definitional scenarios. Potential refers to the estimated average stock change (Mt C).
c. Source: SRLULUCF Table SPM-4. Potential refers to the estimated net change in carbon stocks in the year 2010 (Mt C yr-1). The list of activities is not exclusive or complete, and it is unlikely that all countries will apply all activities. Some of these estimates reflect considerable uncertainty.


The successful implementation of greenhouse gas mitigation options would need to overcome technical, economic, political, cultural, social, behavioral, and/or institutional barriers that prevent the full exploitation of the technological, economic, and social opportunities of these mitigation options (see Figure 7-1). The potential mitigation opportunities and types of barriers vary by region and sector, and over time. Most countries could benefit from innovative financing, social learning and innovation, and institutional reforms, removing barriers to trade, and poverty eradication. This is caused by a wide variation in mitigation capacity. The poor in any country are faced with limited opportunities to adopt technologies or change their social behavior, particularly if they are not part of a cash economy. Most countries could benefit from innovative financing and institutional reform and removing barriers to trade. In the industrialized countries, future opportunities lie primarily in removing social and behavioral barriers; in countries with economies in transition, in price rationalization; and in developing countries, in price rationalization, increased access to data and information, availability of advanced technologies, financial resources, and training and capacity building. Opportunities for any given country, however, might be found in the removal of any combination of barriers.

WGIII TAR Sections 1.5 & 5.3-5

National responses to climate change can be more effective if deployed as a portfolio of policy instruments to limit or reduce net greenhouse gas emissions. The portfolio of national climate policy instruments may include -- according to national circumstances -- emissions/carbon/energy taxes, tradable or non-tradable permits, provision and/or removal of subsidies, land-use policies, deposit/refund systems, technology or performance standards, energy mix requirements, product bans, voluntary agreements, information campaigns, environmental labeling, government spending and investment, and support for research and development (R&D). The literature in general gives no preference for any particular policy instrument.

WGIII TAR Sections 1.5.3, 5.3-4, & 6.2
7.8 Coordinated actions among countries and sectors may help to reduce mitigation cost by addressing competitiveness concerns, potential conflicts with international trade rules, and carbon leakage. A group of countries that wants to limit its collective greenhouse gas emissions could agree to implement well-designed international instruments. Instruments assessed in the WGIII TAR, and being developed in the Kyoto Protocol, are emissions trading, Joint Implementation (JI), and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Other international instruments also assessed in the WGIII TAR include coordinated or harmonized emission/carbon/energy taxes, an emission/carbon/energy tax, technology and product standards, voluntary agreements with industries, direct transfers of financial resources and technology, and coordinated creation of enabling environments such as reduction of fossil-fuel subsidies. Some of these have been considered only in some regions to date.

WGIII TAR Sections 6.3-4 & 10.2
Figure 7-1: Penetration of environmentally sound technologies (including practices): a conceptual framework. Various barriers prevent the different potentials from being realized. Opportunities exist to overcome barriers through innovative projects, programs, and financing arrangements. An action can address more than one barrier. Actions may be pursued to address barriers at all levels simultaneously. Their implementation may require public policies, measures, and instruments. The socio-economic potential may lie anywhere in the space between the economic and technological potential.

WGIII TAR Section 5.2

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