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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTERACTIONS BETWEEN LAND USE, LAND MGMT, AND CLIMATE CHANGE: RELATIONS TO CARBON AND NITROGEN CYCLING, TRACE GASES AND AGROECOSYSTEMS

Location: Soil Plant Nutrient Research (SPNR)

Title: GLOBAL MITIGATION OF NON-CO2 GREENHOUSE GASES

Authors
item Gallaher, Micke - RTI INTERNATIONAL
item Ottinger, Deborah - US EPA
item Godwin, Dave - US EPA
item Deangelo, Benjamin - US EPA
item Beach, Robert - RTI INTERNATIONAL
item Harnisch, Jochen - ECOFYS
item Wartmann, Sina - ECOFYS
item Salas, William - APPLIED GEOSOLUTIONS
item Li, Changsheng - U OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
item Del Grosso, Stephen
item Sulser, Timothy - INT'L FOOD POLICY RES INS

Submitted to: EPA-ARS Technical Report
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 2005
Publication Date: June 1, 2005
Citation: Gallaher, M., Ottinger, D., Godwin, D., Deangelo, B., Beach, R., Harnisch, J., Wartmann, S., Salas, W., Li, C., Del Grosso, S.J., Sulser, T. 2005. Global mitigation of non-co2 greenhouse gases. EPA-ARS Technical Report.

Interpretive Summary: As the primary anthropogenic greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2) has received the most attention regarding greenhouse gas mitigation. How ever, the non-CO2 greenhouse gases make a significant contribution to the anthropogenic greenhouse gas impact (about 24% in 2000) and can be mitigated relatively inexpensively. This report considers all non CO2 greenhouse gases in all economic sectors from all regions of the world. Greenhouse gas abatement potentials and costs were calculated for various mitigation strategies for different economic sectors. Globally, the sectors with the greatest potential for mitigation of non-CO2 greenhouse gases are the energy and agriculture sectors. At a breakeven price of $30/tCO2eq, the potential for reduction of non-CO2 greenhouse gases is nearly 1,000 MtCO2eq in the energy sector, and approximately 600 MtCO2eq in the agriculture sector. China, the United States, EU, India, and Brazil are the countries or regions that emit the most non-CO2 greenhouse gases. As the largest emitters, they also offer important mitigation opportunities.

Technical Abstract: The mitigation of noncarbon dioxide (non-CO2) greenhouse gas emissions can be a relatively inexpensive supplement to CO2-only mitigation strategies. The non-CO2 gases include methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and a number of high global warming potential (high- GWP) or fluorinated gases. These gases trap more heat within the atmosphere than CO2 per unit weight. Approximately 30 percent of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect since preindustrial times can be attributed to these non-CO2 greenhouse gases; approximately 24 percent of GWP-weighted greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2000 are comprised of the non-CO2 greenhouse gases. This report provides a comprehensive global analysis and resulting data set of marginal abatement curves (MACs) that illustrate the abatement potential of non-CO2 greenhouse gases by sector and by region. This assessment of mitigation potential is unique because it is comprehensive across all non-CO2 gases, across all emitting sectors of the economy, and across all regions of the world. Across all the emitting greenhouse gas sectors, for each mitigation option, the technical abatement potential and cost are calculated. The MACs are determined by the series of breakeven price calculations for the suite of available options for each sector and region. Each point along the curve indicates the abatement potential given the economically feasible mitigation technologies at a given breakeven price. This report makes no explicit assumption about policies that would be required to facilitate and generate adoption of mitigation options. Therefore, this report provides estimates of technical mitigation potential. The result of these efforts is a set of MACs that allow for improved understanding of the mitigation potential for non-CO2 sources, as well as inclusion of non-CO2 greenhouse gas mitigation in economic modeling. Globally, the sectors with the greatest potential for mitigation of non-CO2 greenhouse gases are the energy and agriculture sectors. At a breakeven price of $30/tCO2eq, the potential for reduction of non-CO2 greenhouse gases is nearly 1,000 MtCO2eq in the energy sector, and approximately 600 MtCO2eq in the agriculture sector. China, the United States, EU, India, and Brazil are the countries or regions that emit the most non-CO2 greenhouse gases. As the largest emitters, they also offer important mitigation opportunities. These regions show significant mitigation potential in the lower range of breakeven prices, with the MACs getting steeper in the higher range of breakeven prices as each additional ton of emissions becomes more expensive to reduce.

Last Modified: 8/31/2014
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