The role of forests — Deforestation is responsible for up to 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, with most forest land cleared for agricultural use. When managed effectively, forests are net carbon sinks, able to permanently absorb about one-tenth of global CO2 emissions into biomass, soil and forest products.
Different emissions sources — Over the last three decades, all greenhouse gas emissions increased by an average of 1.6% per year with CO2 emissions from fossil fuels use growing at 1.9% per year. The largest growth in greenhouse gas emissions has come from energy supply and road transport.
How to get there — To reduce emissions by 50 percent by 2050, the International Energy Agency has found that emissions would need to be limited to 26 gigatonnes (Gt) by 2030, versus the expectation that they will reach 41 Gt if policies don´t change. Improvements in energy efficiency would account for the bulk of this emissions reduction, 54 percent, followed by more renewable energy and nuclear power, and carbon capture and storage after 2020.
Clean energy investments — Huge investments will be needed to increase energy capacity in developing countries over the next 10-20 years and these investments can be directed to lower-emission energy sources, such as renewable energy.
Indirect mitigation activities — Waste minimization and recycling provide important indirect mitigation benefits through the conservation of energy and materials.
Mitigation and development issues — Many developing countries have taken mitigation actions, including the scaling up of renewable sources in energy generation and by creating energy efficiency targets. There is concern that action on the part of developing countries to reduce their emissions could steer resources away from poverty eradication and economic growth—two key priorities that hinge on access to reliable energy sources.
Latest technology — Replacing old machines in industrial facilities with latest technology can lead to significant emission reductions.
A lot more cars on the road — The world’s car fleet is expected to triple by 2050 with 80% of this growth occurring in developing economies.