Reducing greenhouse gas emissions for climate stabilization: Framing regional options

Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Peter B Reich, Kris A. Johnson, Anne R. Kapuscinski, Sangwon Suh, Elizabeth J Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that stabilizing atmospheric CO 2 concentrations will require reduction of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by as much as 80% by 2050. Subnational efforts to cut emissions will inform policy development nationally and globally. We projected GHG mitigation strategies for Minnesota, which has adopted a strategic goal of 80% emissions reduction by 2050. A portfolio of conservation strategies, including electricity conservation, increased vehicle fleet fuel efficiency, and reduced vehicle miles traveled, is likely the most cost-effective option for Minnesota and could reduce emissions by 18% below 2005 levels. An 80% GHG reduction would require complete decarbonization of the electricity and transportation sectors, combined with carbon capture and sequestration at power plants, or deep cuts in other relatively more intransigent GHG-emitting sectors. In order to achieve ambitious GHG reduction goals, policymakers should promote aggressive conservation efforts, which would probably have negative net costs, while phasing in alternative fuels to replace coal and motor gasoline over the long-term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1696-1703
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2009

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