CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

Does black carbon abatement hamper CO2 abatement? A letter

Terje Koren Berntsen, Katsumasa Tanaka, Jan Fuglestvedt

Concerns have been raised that near-term black carbon abatement strategies for global warming mitigation would interfere with the longer-term CO2 abatement efforts. In response, we put forward a “combined target and metric approach”, a theoretical framework, in which the time horizon of the metric is linked to the specific target of the climate policy. In this approach, a shorter time horizon for the metric is justified only when the overall climate policy is tightened; the lower the target level of the climate policy, the earlier the year of the target. Employing a consistent time perspective for the metric and target means that enhanced near-term reduction of short-lived climate forcers does not reduce the importance of the CO2 abatement, since the overall climate target is stricter.

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