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Muntean M.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Janssens-Maenhout G.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Song S.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Selin N.E.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment

The Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) provides a time-series of man-made emissions of greenhouse gases and short-lived atmospheric pollutants from 1970 to 2008. Mercury is included in EDGARv4.tox1, thereby enriching the spectrum of multi-pollutant sources in the database. With an average annual growth rate of 1.3% since 1970, EDGARv4 estimates that the global mercury emissions reached 1287tonnes in 2008. Specifically, gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) (Hg0) accounted for 72% of the global total emissions, while gaseous oxidised mercury (GOM) (Hg2+) and particle bound mercury (PBM) (Hg-P) accounted for only 22% and 6%, respectively. The less reactive form, i.e., Hg0, has a long atmospheric residence time and can be transported long distances from the emission sources. The artisanal and small-scale gold production, accounted for approximately half of the global Hg0 emissions in 2008 followed by combustion (29%), cement production (12%) and other metal industry (10%). Given the local-scale impacts of mercury, special attention was given to the spatial distribution showing the emission hot-spots on gridded 0.1°×0.1° resolution maps using detailed proxy data. The comprehensive ex-post analysis of the mitigation of mercury emissions by end-of-pipe abatement measures in the power generation sector and technology changes in the chlor-alkali industry over four decades indicates reductions of 46% and 93%, respectively. Combined, the improved technologies and mitigation measures in these sectors accounted for 401.7tonnes of avoided mercury emissions in 2008. A comparison shows that EDGARv4 anthropogenic emissions are nearly equivalent to the lower estimates of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)'s mercury emissions inventory for 2005 for most sectors. An evaluation of the EDGARv4 global mercury emission inventory, including mercury speciation, was performed using the GEOS-Chem global 3-D mercury model. The model can generally reproduce both spatial variations and long-term trends in total gaseous mercury concentrations and wet deposition fluxes. © 2014. Source

Girod B.,ETH Zurich | Girod B.,University Utrecht | Van Vuuren D.P.,University Utrecht | Van Vuuren D.P.,PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency | Hertwich E.G.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Environmental Research Letters

Discussion and analysis on international climate policy often focuses on the rather abstract level of total national and regional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At some point, however, emission reductions need to be translated to consumption level. In this article, we evaluate the implications of the strictest IPCC representative concentration pathway for key consumption categories (food, travel, shelter, goods, services). We use IPAT style identities to account for possible growth in global consumption levels and indicate the required change in GHG emission intensity for each category (i.e. GHG emission per calorie, person kilometer, square meter, kilogram, US dollar). The proposed concept provides guidance for product developers, consumers and policymakers. To reach the 2 °C climate target (2.1 tCO2-eq. per capita in 2050), the GHG emission intensity of consumption has to be reduced by a factor of 5 in 2050. The climate targets on consumption level allow discussion of the feasibility of this climate target at product and consumption level. In most consumption categories products in line with this climate target are available. For animal food and air travel, reaching the GHG intensity targets with product modifications alone will be challenging and therefore structural changes in consumption patterns might be needed. The concept opens up possibilities for further research on potential solutions on the consumption and product level to global climate mitigation. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd Printed in the UK. Source

Girod B.,ETH Zurich | Girod B.,University Utrecht | van Vuuren D.P.,University Utrecht | van Vuuren D.P.,PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency | And 4 more authors.
Climatic Change

Transportation contributes to a significant and rising share of global energy use and GHG emissions. Therefore modeling future travel demand, its fuel use, and resulting CO2 emission is highly relevant for climate change mitigation. In this study we compare the baseline projections for global service demand (passenger-kilometers, ton-kilometers), fuel use, and CO2 emissions of five different global transport models using harmonized input assumptions on income and population. For four models we also evaluate the impact of a carbon tax. All models project a steep increase in service demand over the century. Technology change is important for limiting energy consumption and CO2 emissions, the study also shows that in order to stabilise or even decrease emissions radical changes would be required. While all models project liquid fossil fuels dominating up to 2050, they differ regarding the use of alternative fuels (natural gas, hydrogen, biofuels, and electricity), because of different fuel price projections. The carbon tax of 200 USD/tCO2 in 2050 stabilizes or reverses global emission growth in all models. Besides common findings many differences in the model assumptions and projections indicate room for further understanding long-term trends and uncertainty in future transport systems. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Girod B.,ETH Zurich | Girod B.,University Utrecht | van Vuuren D.P.,University Utrecht | van Vuuren D.P.,PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency | Hertwich E.G.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Global Environmental Change

While national climate policy can address countries' production or consumption, climate mitigation via changes in consumption has previously received relatively little attention in climate policy literature. In the absence of an effective international climate policy, the focus on consumption is gaining relevance since it has advantages regarding carbon leakage and competitiveness concerns. In addition, consumption oriented climate policy allows for low cost climate mitigation because of behavioral market failures. Therefore, a systematic evaluation of low greenhouse gas consumption options is needed. This article reviews the carbon footprint of products in the five main consumption categories (food, shelter, travel, goods and service) and compares their compatibility with the greenhouse gas intensity required in 2050 to meet the 2° climate target. The evaluation then identifies consumption options compatible with this climate target in all categories. The description of these consumption options allows for the recognition of barriers to their selection. In contrast to production oriented climate policy, besides costs, relevant barriers include consumer preferences, the skills required to find or adopt the product and high initial investments. We conclude that there is substantial climate mitigation potential from changing consumption choices which can be tapped through climate policy by addressing non-cost barriers. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

van Ruijven B.J.,PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency | van Vuuren D.P.,PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency | van Vuuren D.P.,University Utrecht | van Vliet J.,PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency | And 3 more authors.
Energy Economics

In order to limit global mean temperature increase, long-term greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced. This paper discusses the implications of greenhouse gas emission reductions for major Asian regions (China, India, Indonesia, South-East Asia, Japan and Korea) based on results from the IMAGE modelling framework. Energy use in regions and economic sectors is affected differently by ambitious climate policies. We find that the potential for emission reduction varies widely between regions. With respect to technology choices in the power sector, we find major application of CO2 storage in Indonesia and India, whereas Korea and India apply more solar and wind. Projections for Japan include a (debatable) large share of nuclear power. China and, India, and South-East Asia, show a diverse technology choice in the power sector. For the industry sector, we find that the recent rapid growth in China limits the potential for emission reduction in the next decades, assuming that recently built coal-based industry facilities are in use for the next decades. For the residential sector, the model results show that fewer households switch from traditional fuels to modern fuels in GHG mitigation scenarios. With respect to co-benefits, we find lower imports of fossil energy in mitigation scenarios and a clear reduction of air pollutant emissions. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

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