The contribution of non-CO2 greenhouse gas mitigation to achieving long-term temperature goals (C2b)

In the latest (fifth) assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) non-CO2 emissions accounted for 28% of total GHG emissions in 2010, when measured on the basis of their global warming potential (relative to CO2) over a 100-year timespan, a measure known as GWP100. The single largest source of these emissions is agriculture, with agricultural methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) accounting for about half of all non-CO2 GHGs. With population and incomes increasing, especially in emerging economies, these emissions could grow significantly in the future. Other major sources of non-CO2 GHGs are fugitive CH4 from the extraction and distribution of fossil fuels, N2O from industrial production of nitric and adipic acid, as well as fluorinated gases (F-gases) from a range of industrial manufacturing and product uses.

This paper analyses the emissions and cost impacts of mitigation of non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHGs) at a global level, in scenarios which are focused on meeting a range of long-term temperature goals (LTTGs). The paper demonstrates how an integrated assessment model (TIAM-Grantham) representing CO2 emissions (and their mitigation) from the fossil fuel combustion and industrial sectors is coupled with a model covering non-CO2 emissions (GAINS) in order to provide a complete picture of GHG emissions in a reference scenario in which there is no mitigation of either CO2 or non-CO2 gases, as well as in scenarios in which both CO2 and non-CO2 gases are mitigated in order to achieve different LTTGs.