Reducing emissions — At the very heart of the response to climate change is the need to reduce emissions. Without action, emissions of the six main greenhouse gases are projected to rise by 25-90 per cent by 2030 compared to 2000. Both developed and developing nations must take measurable, reportable and verifiable mitigation action.
Reduction commitments — So far, most developed countries have announced mid-term target reductions for 2020, but most of these targets are far short of the IPCC range of a 25-40 per cent reduction below 1990 levels by 2020, which would be necessary to limit temperature increase to 2°C . Global emissions need to peak by 2015 and decline thereafter reaching a reduction of 50 per cent by 2050 to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
Addressing climate change — There are basically two approaches to dealing with climate change: reducing the emissions of the gases that are causing the problem , and taking steps that allow people and communities to cope with the impacts of climate change .
Avoiding emissions — Mitigation refers to the policies and measures designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions . Measures can include reducing demand for emissions-intensive goods and services, boosting efficiency gains and increasing the use of low-carbon technologies and renewable energy . With the right policies, the rise in the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can be slowed and ultimately stabilized.
Absorbing emissions — Another way to mitigate the impacts of climate change is by enhancing “sinks” – reservoirs that absorb CO2, such as forests or peat bogs. Leaving existing forests intact and planting new trees are two examples of how this can be achieved. Launched in September 2008, the UN-REDD focuses on these mitigation aspects.
Quick Fact — If no action is taken, or if everyone continues on a “business as usual” basis, the world's global greenhouse gas emissions will continue to grow over the next few decades and the global temperature could rise by as much as 6.4°C this century. More facts and findings.