Greenhouse gases: Here are the options to reduce emissions sector by sector – companies

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by almost half in eight years: this scenario, which is necessary to limit warming to +1.5°C, is possible with instruments that are already available and affordable in many sectors, according to UN climate experts.

The latest IPCC expert report released on Monday is final. In order not to exceed the threshold of +1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial era, emissions must peak before 2025 and fall by 43% by 2030 compared to 2019.

Even if the deadline seems very short, the calculations of the options available by sector show that “the total potential to reduce emissions by 2030” is “sufficient” to reduce them to half the current level “or less”, assures the Text.

A whole range of options, already available in each sector (energy, agriculture, transport, etc.), would make it possible to reduce net emissions by 31 to 44 gigatons of CO2 equivalent in 2030, the IPCC explains and emphasizes that the benefits of these solutions can certainly be expected to outweigh the costs of their implementation. For comparison: in 2019, total emissions were 59 gigatonnes. “More than half the potential” is achievable at low cost, ie less than $20 per tonne of CO2 not emitted.

© iStock

That is, the cost of avoiding the emission of one tonne of carbon thanks to a new technology compared to a current carbon-emitting technology. While there is no magic bullet that alone would limit global warming, the four options that show the greatest potential are solar power, wind power, reducing deforestation and restoring forests.

Thanks to solar energy, emissions could be saved by between 2 and 7 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2030. Wind energy would save between 2.1 and 5.6 gigatonnes.

The two options also have the advantage that they usually represent “negative costs”, i.e. they are lower than with fossil fuels. According to the report, between 2010 and 2019, the cost of deploying solar and wind energy fell by 85% and 55%, respectively.

Other options have less potential at higher costs, such as nuclear power, hydropower, or chasing methane emissions from fossil fuel production.

While forests are critical carbon sinks for absorbing CO2 emissions from human activities, limiting deforestation and grassland destruction could reduce net emissions by 3 to nearly 8 gigatonnes.

GETTY
© GETTY

And restoring those ecosystems would save 1 to 5 gigatonnes. But for this category, much of the implementation would cost more, over $100 per tonne of CO2.

Further potential for reducing emissions in this sector: carbon sequestration in agriculture, reduction of agricultural methane emissions (ruminants etc.), better forest management, dietary change or reduction of waste consumption.

Getty Images
©Getty Images

In transport, there are a multitude of options that would allow for a reduction, more modest than in other sectors (less than 1 gigatonne each), but at a lower economic cost: switching to public transport, electric vehicles, efficiency-energy saving aviation.

Getty
©Getty

In this sector, the new construction of buildings with high energy efficiency has the greatest potential (between less than 1 gigatonne and more than 2 gigatonnes), before the improvement of lighting, the production and use of renewable energies on site, then the renovation of the existing building.

Also read: What is the ideal city for the climate?

., Getty Images
. ©Getty Images

The industrial sector is the only one where most options are available at a cost of over $20 per tonne of CO2. At these costs, however, it offers significant potential for reducing emissions, particularly by switching to less carbon-intensive energy sources.

The latest IPCC expert report released on Monday is final. To stay within the +1.5°C threshold compared to pre-industrial levels, emissions must peak before 2025 and fall by 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. If the delay seems very short, the calculations of the available options by will show that “the overall potential to reduce emissions by 2030” is “sufficient” to reduce them to half “or less,” the text asserts, etc.) would make it possible to reduce net emissions by 31 to 44 gigatons of CO2 equivalent in 2030, the IPCC explains, stressing that the expected benefits of some of these solutions exceed the costs of their implementation. For comparison: in 2019, total emissions were 59 gigatonnes. “More than half the potential” is achievable at low cost, ie less than $20 per tonne of CO2 not emitted. That is, the cost of avoiding the emission of one tonne of carbon thanks to a new technology compared to a current carbon-emitting technology. While there is no magic bullet that alone would limit global warming, the four options that show the greatest potential are solar power, wind power, reducing deforestation and restoring forests. Thanks to solar, emissions could be saved between 2 and 7 gigatons of CO2 equivalent in 2030 Wind power would save between 2.1 and 5.6 gigatons Both options have the additional advantage that they mostly represent a “negative cost”, ie less than fossil fuels. According to the report, between 2010 and 2019, the cost of deploying solar and wind power fell by 85% and 55%, respectively. Other options have less potential but are more expensive, such as nuclear power, hydroelectric power, or chasing methane emissions from fossil fuel production deforestation and grassland destruction reduce net emissions by 3 to nearly 8 gigatonnes. And restoring those ecosystems would save 1 to 5 gigatonnes. But for this category, much of the implementation would cost more, over $100 per tonne of CO2. Other potentials to reduce emissions in this sector: carbon sequestration in agriculture, reduction of agricultural methane emissions (ruminants etc.), better forestry management, dietary change or reduction of food waste Other sectors (less than 1 gigatonne each), but at a lower cost to the Economy: Switch to public transport, electric vehicles, energy efficiency in aviation In this sector, the construction of new buildings with high energy efficiency has the greatest potential (between less than 1 gigatonne and more than 2), before improving lighting, production and use of renewable Energy on site, then the renovation of existing buildings. The industrial sector is the only one where most options are available at a cost of over $20 per tonne of CO2. At these costs, however, it offers significant potential for reducing emissions, particularly by switching to less carbon-intensive energy sources.

Leave a Comment