In this article, I look at mitigation, which is one of the words that you will hear at COP27.
What is mitigation and look at what is means and what we can expect at COP27 and beyond.
Climate change mitigation has been a central element in the intergovernmental negotiations carried out under the UNFCCC process. Negotiations on various items dealing with different aspects of mitigation are covered in the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement are currently ongoing under the negotiating bodies under the UNFCCC.
What is mitigation?
As there is a direct relation between global average temperatures and the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, one of the key solutions to the climate change lies in decreasing the amount of emissions released into the atmosphere and in reducing the current concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) by enhancing sinks (e.g. increasing the area of forests). Efforts to reduce emissions and enhance sinks are, therefore, referred to as “mitigation”.
The Convention requires all Parties to formulate and implement programmes containing measures to mitigate climate change within their roles and responsibilities.
Mitigation programmes target economic activity with an aim to incentivise actions that are cleaner or disincentive those that result in large amounts of GHGs, which can include policies, incentives schemes and investment programmes which address all sectors, such as energy generation and use, transport, buildings, industry and agriculture.
Mitigation measures can be translated from Governmental policies into activities, such as increased use of renewable energy, the application of new technologies such as electric cars, or changes in practices or behaviours, such as driving less or changing one’s diet.
Additionally, they can include expanding forests and other sinks to remove greater amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, or simply making improvements to a cookstove design.
What can we expect at COP27?
Mitigation is a key option for the reduction of climate change and lies at the heart of Parties’ efforts to achieve the overall purpose and long-term temperature goals set out in the Paris Agreement for holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C.
Under the Paris Agreement, each Party is required to put forward successive and progressively more ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs), representing its highest possible mitigation ambition. So, we should expect to see revised NDCs for this round of the COP process.
For more about the content of Nationally Determined Contributions, please click on the video here
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