May 2008

In Fact

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Communities' effort to respond to climate change can be achieved by adapting to its impacts and by reducing GHG emissions (mitigation). The ability to adaption and mitigation depends on socio-economic and environmental conditions and the availability of information and technology. Here, 'technology' is defined as the practical application of knowledge to achieve a particular task that employs both technical artefacts (hardware, equipment) and (social) information ('software', know-how for production and use of artefacts). Both the adaptive and mitigative capacities can be enhanced by giving thrust to sustainable development. Sustainable development, thereby, reduces vulnerability to climate change by minimising sensitivities (through adaptation) and/or exposure (through mitigation). Therefore, deployment of a portfolio of technologies that are either currently available or expected to be  commercialised in coming decades, assumes greater significance for diffusion, development, and acquisition to address the issues concerned with climate change.


Key mitigation technologies and practices currently commercially available

Key opportunities

Key opportunities

Improved supply and distribution efficiency; fuel switching from coal to gas; nuclear power; renewable heat and power (hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal and bioenergy); combined heat and power; early applications of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) (e.g. storage of removed CO2 from natural gas)

May be appropriate to create markets for low emission technologies


More fuel-efficient vehicles; hybrid vehicles; cleaner diesel vehicles; biofuels; modal shifts from road transport to rail and public transport systems; non-motorised transport (cycling, walking); land-use and transport planning

Particularly appropriate for countries that are building up their transportation systems


Efficient lighting and day lighting; more efficient electrical appliances and heating and cooling devices; improved cook stoves, improved insulation; passive and active solar design for heating and cooling; alternative refrigeration fluids, recovery and recycling of fluorinated gases

Government purchasing can expand demand for energy-efficient products


More efficient end-use electrical equipments; heat and power recovery; material recycling and substitution; control of non-CO2 gas emissions; and a wide array ofprocess-specific technologies

May be appropriate to stimulate technology uptake


Improved crop and grazing land management to increase soil carbon storage; restoration of cultivated peaty soils and degraded lands; improved rice cultivation techniques and livestock and manure management to reduce CH4 emissions; improved nitrogen fertiliser application techniques to reduce N2O emissions; dedicated energy crops to replace fossil fuel use; improved energy efficiency

May encourage synergy with sustainable development


Afforestation; reforestation; forest management; reduced deforestation; harvested wood product management; use of forestry products for bioenergy to replace fossil fuel use

Can help poverty alleviation


Landfill CH4 recovery; waste incineration with energy recovery; composting of organic waste; controlled wastewater treatment; recycling and waste minimisation; biocovers and biofilters to optimise CH4 oxidation

May stimulate technology diffusion

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