Importance of non-CO2 emissions in carbon management

Alice Bows-Larkin, Carly Mclachlan, Sarah Mander, Ruth Wood, Mirjam Röder, Patricia Thornley, Elena Dawkins, Clair Gough, Laura O'keefe, Maria Sharmina

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Background: GHG budgets highlight a need for urgency, yet analyses are often CO2-focused, with less attention paid to non-CO2. Results: In this paper, scenarios are used to explore non-CO2 drivers and barriers to their mitigation, drawing out implications for CO2 management. Results suggest that even optimistic technological and consumption-related developments lead to on-going increases in global N2O, largely to improve food security within a changing climate. This contrasts with existing analysis, where lower levels of N2O by 2050 are projected. Conclusions: As avoiding '2°C' limits the emissions budget, constraints on reducing non-CO2 add pressure to energy system decarbonization. Overlooking how a changing climate and rising consumption restricts efforts to curb non-CO2 will result in policies aiming to avoid 2°C falling short of the mark .
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-210
Number of pages17
JournalCarbon Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2014


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