Working Group III: Mitigation

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11 Gaps in Knowledge

Important gaps in own knowledge on which additional research could be useful to support future assessments include:

  • Further exploration of the regional, country, and sector specific potentials of technological and social innovation options, including:

    • The short, medium, and long-term potential and costs of both CO2 and non-CO2, non-energy mitigation options;
    • Understanding of technology diffusion across different regions;
    • Identifying opportunities in the area of social innovation leading to decreased greenhouse gas emissions;
    • Comprehensive analysis of the impact of mitigation measures on C flows in and out of the terrestrial system; and
    • Some basic inquiry in the area of geo-engineering.

  • Economic, social, and institutional issues related to climate change mitigation in all countries. Priority areas include:

    • Much more analysis of regionally specific mitigation options, barriers, and policies is recommended as these are conditioned by the regions’ mitigative capacity;
    • The implications of mitigation on equity;
    • Appropriate methodologies and improved data sources for climate change mitigation and capacity building in the area of integrated assessment;
    • Strengthening future research and assessments, especially in developing countries.

  • Methodologies for analysis of the potential of mitigation options and their cost, with special attention to comparability of results. Examples include:

    • Characterizing and measuring barriers that inhibit greenhouse gas-reducing action;
    • Make mitigation modelling techniques more consistent, reproducible, and accessible;
    • Modelling technology learning; improving analytical tools for evaluating ancillary benefits, e.g. assigning the costs of abatement to greenhouse gases and to other pollutants;
    • Systematically analyzing the dependency of costs on baseline assumptions for various greenhouse gas stabilization scenarios;
    • Developing decision analytical frameworks for dealing with uncertainty as well as socio-economic and ecological risk in climate policymaking;
    • Improving global models and studies, their assumptions, and their consistency in the treatment and reporting of non-Annex I countries and regions.

  • Evaluating climate mitigation options in the context of development, sustainability, and equity. Examples include:

    • More research is needed on the balance of options in the areas of mitigation and adaptation and of the mitigative and adaptive capacity in the context of DES;
    • Exploration of alternative development paths including sustainable consumption patterns in all sectors, including the transportation sector, and integrated analysis of mitigation and adaptation;
    • Identifying opportunities for synergy between explicit climate policies and general policies promoting sustainable development;
    • Integration of inter- and intragenerational equity in climate change mitigation studies;
    • Implications of equity assessments;
    • Analysis of scientific, technical, and economic aspects of implications of options under a wide variety of stabilization regimes;
    • Determining what kinds of policies interact with what sorts of socio-economic conditions to result in futures characterized by low CO2 emissions;
    • Investigation on how changes in societal values may be encouraged to promote sustainable development; and
    • Evaluating climate mitigation options in the context of and for synergy with potential or actual adaptive measures.

  • Development of engineering-economic, end-use, and sectoral studies of GHG emissions mitigation potentials for specific regions and/or countries of the world, focusing on:

    • Identification and assessment of mitigation technologies and measures that are required to deviate from “business-as-usual” in the short term (2010, 2020);
    • Development of standardized methodologies for quantifying emissions reductions and costs of mitigation technologies and measures;
    • Identification of barriers to the implementation of the mitigation technologies and measures;
    • Identification of opportunities to increase adoption of GHG emissions mitigation technologies and measures through connections with ancillary benefits as well as furtherance of the DES goals; and
    • Linking the results of the assessments to specific policies and programmes that can overcome the identified barriers as well as leverage the identified ancillary benefits.

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