Taking some heat off the NDCs? The limited potential of additional short-lived climate forcers’ mitigation

17-06-2019 | Publication

Several studies have shown that the greenhouse gas reduction resulting from the current nationally determined contributions (NDCs) will not be enough to meet the overall targets of the Paris Climate Agreement. It has been suggested that more ambition mitigations of short-lived climate forcer (SLCF) emissions could potentially be a way to reduce the risk of overshooting the 1.5 or 2 °C target in a cost-effective way.

In this study, we employ eight state-of-the-art integrated assessment models (IAMs) to examine the global temperature effects of ambitious reductions of methane, black and organic carbon, and hydrofluorocarbon emissions.

The SLCFs measures considered are found to add significantly to the effect of the NDCs on short-term global mean temperature (GMT) (in the year 2040: − 0.03 to − 0.15 °C) and on reducing the short-term rate-of-change (by − 2 to 15%), but only a small effect on reducing the maximum temperature change before 2100.

This, because later in the century under assumed ambitious climate policy, SLCF mitigation is maximized, either directly or indirectly due to changes in the energy system. All three SLCF groups can contribute to achieving GMT changes.

This article is part of a Special Issue reporting results from the "Energy Modeling Forum (EMF)-30 Study on Short-Lived Climate Forcers (SLCF) and Air Quality”.