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Climate change mitigation

Actions to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate change / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Climate change mitigation is action to limit climate change by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases or removing those gases from the atmosphere.[1]:2239 The recent rise in global average temperature is mostly due to emissions from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Mitigation can reduce emissions by transitioning to sustainable energy sources, conserving energy, and increasing efficiency. It is possible to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere by enlarging forests, restoring wetlands and using other natural and technical processes. Experts call these processes carbon sequestration.[2]:12[3] Governments and companies have pledged to reduce emissions to prevent dangerous climate change in line with international negotiations to limit warming by reducing emissions.

Aerial view of a solar farm with part of a wind farm in the background
public transport
Plant-based dishes
Various aspects of climate change mitigation: Renewable energysolar and wind power – in England, electrified public transport in France, a reforestation project in Haiti to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and an example of a plant-based meal.

Solar energy and wind power have the greatest potential for mitigation at the lowest cost compared to a range of other options.[4] The availability of sunshine and wind is variable. But it is possible to deal with this through energy storage and improved electrical grids. These include long-distance electricity transmission, demand management and diversification of renewables.[5]:1 It is possible to reduce emissions from infrastructure that directly burns fossil fuels, such as vehicles and heating appliances, by electrifying the infrastructure. If the electricity comes from renewable sources instead of fossil fuels this will reduce emissions. Using heat pumps and electric vehicles can improve energy efficiency. If industrial processes must create carbon dioxide, carbon capture and storage can reduce net emissions.[6]

Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture include methane as well as nitrous oxide. It is possible to cut emissions from agriculture by reducing food waste, switching to a more plant-based diet, by protecting ecosystems and by improving farming processes.[7]:XXV Changing energy sources, industrial processes and farming methods can reduce emissions. So can changes in demand, for instance in diets or the way we build and travel in cities.

Climate change mitigation policies include: carbon pricing by carbon taxes and carbon emission trading, easing regulations for renewable energy deployment, reductions of fossil fuel subsidies, and divestment from fossil fuels, and subsidies for clean energy.[8] Current policies are estimated to produce global warming of about 2.7 °C by 2100.[9] This warming is significantly above the 2015 Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 °C and preferably to 1.5 °C.[10][11] Globally, limiting warming to 2 °C may result in higher economic benefits than economic costs.[12]