Know Climate Change

Adaptation and Mitigation



Mitigation refers to the policies and measures designed to reduce GHG emissions. Measures can include reducing demand for emission-intensive goods and services, boosting efficiency gains, and increasing the use of low-carbon technologies. Another way to mitigate the impacts of climate change is by enhancing ‘sinks’ – reservoirs that absorb CO2, such as forests or peat bogs (a type of wetland where decomposition is slowed down and dead plant matter accumulates as peat).

IPCC defines mitigation as 'technological change and substitution that reduce resource inputs and emissions per unit of output… with respect to climate change, mitigation means implementing policies to reduce GHG emissions and enhance sinks'.

To design an effective mitigation strategy, we need to know the GHG emission pattern, available mitigation options, role of technology and market-based mechanisms. We also need to design the mitigation strategy in such a way that it helps ensure sustainable development.

A number of voluntary initiatives are also being implemented to reduce GHG emissions. These include the CSLF (Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum), which promotes carbon capture and storage, the Methane to Markets Partnership, and the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate.

Many efforts are being made internationally to tackle the problem of global warming. Climate change gained prime importance in the G8 (a forum, created by France in 1975, for governments of the 8 richest countries in the world) meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland in 2005. Within the context of reducing GHG emissions, the Kyoto Protocol is an important landmark. Let us first know about the Kyoto Protocol.

Issues related to Mitigation in the long-term context... Click to know

Future GHG emissions and the main factors or driving forces influencing them are highly uncertain. This uncertainty is captured, to an extent, by designing scenarios to describe possible future developments and the manner in which the influencing factors are likely to change. In the context of the IPCC assessments, scenarios are directed at exploring possible future emissions pathways, their main underlying driving forces, and how these might be affected by policy interventions in various regions.

The emission scenarios provide the following.

  • Inputs for evaluating climatic and environmental consequences of alternative future GHG emissions, in the absence of specific technological measures or policies to reduce such emissions or enhance GHG sinks.
  • Similar inputs for cases with specific alternative policy interventions to reduce GHG emissions and enhance sinks.
  • Inputs for assessing mitigation and adaptation possibilities, and their costs, in different regions and economic sectors.
  • Inputs for negotiation of possible agreements to reduce GHG emissions across regions.