Mitigation: reducing emissions and stabilizing the climate

Curbing greenhouse gases emissions remains a long-term solution to combating global warming. Unmitigated climate change will, in the long-term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt. In the past thirty years, emissions of these gases increased by 70 percent and without additional action by governments, emissions of the six main greenhouse gases are projected to rise by 25-90 percent by 2030 compared to 2000.

Any comprehensive solution to climate change will stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a safe level, a goal defined as the central objective of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. But this will involve considerable costs: To return greenhouse gases emissions to current levels alone, more than $200 billion in additional investments will be necessary in 2030, according to UNFCCC projections.

The pace and cost of any response to climate change will depend on the cost, performance, and availability of technologies that can lower emissions in the future. Although other factors such as growth in wealth and population are also very important.

DESA focus areas