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Publication Date
1 March 2014

Near-term Limits to Mitigation: Challenges Arising from Contrary Mitigation Effects from Indirect Land-use Change and Sulfur Emissions



We explore the implications of potentially counteractive greenhouse gas mitigation responses to carbon prices and the complications that could ensue for limiting radiative forcing in the near-term. Specifically we consider the problem of reproducing the radiative forcing pathway for Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP4.5, which stabilizes radiative forcing at 4.5 Wm−2 (650 ppm CO2-e) under a different terrestrial policy assumption. We show that if indirect land-use change emissions are not priced, carbon prices that can replicate this pathway in the near-term may not exist. We further show that additional complexities could emerge as a consequence of the co-production of CO2 and sulfur emissions as byproducts of fossil fuel combustion.

Calvin, Katherine, Marshall Wise, Leon Clarke, James Edmonds, Andrew Jones, and Allison Thomson. 2014. “Near-Term Limits To Mitigation: Challenges Arising From Contrary Mitigation Effects From Indirect Land-Use Change And Sulfur Emissions ”. Energy Economics 42: 233-239. doi:10.1016/j.eneco.2013.09.026.
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