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 â€˜sinksâ€™
â€“ 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
IPCC defines mitigation as 'technological
change and substitution that reduce resource inputs
and emissions per unit of outputâ€¦ 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.
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
- 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.