Climate change mitigation refers to any actions or efforts to reduce or prevent the long-term risks of climate change on human life and property by reducing the sources or enhancing the sinks of greenhouse gas emissions (Coastal Management, 2019). In short, it means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These gases are Carbon Dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and fluorinated gases (F-Gases). The F-Gases include hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).
The primary sources of such emissions are natural occurrences and human activities. Natural occurrences include forest fires, earthquakes, oceans, permafrost, wetlands, mud volcanoes and volcanoes (Yue and Gao 2018). In contrast, human activities are predominantly related to energy production, industrial activities, forestry, land use, and land-use change.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report demonstrated that anthropogenic activities so far have caused an estimated 1.0 °C of global warming. This rise above the pre-industrial level, specifying a likely range between 0.8 and 1.2 °C. It is stated that global warming is likely to reach 1.5 °C between 2030 and 2052 if the current emission rates persist (IPCC 2018). Therefore, reducing their emissions will provide far more reaching benefits for the environment, humans and economic development.
This strategy would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure, including transport and buildings and industrial systems. Many mitigation strategies will be similar to adaptation strategies but with a focus on greenhouse gas emissions. For example, turning to renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels and developing public transportation to divert the reliance on private vehicles.
Because adaptive measures alone aren’t sufficient to achieve this feat, there is a need for mitigation methods. What is the way forward, then? We’ll be talking about just that tomorrow as we look into mitigation strategies that can be implemented.
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