The Fourth Assessment Report of IPCC Working Group III, “Mitigation of Climate Change”, aims to answer essentially five questions relevant to policymakers worldwide:
What can we do to reduce or avoid climate change?
What are the costs of these actions and how do they relate to the costs of inaction?
How much time is available to realise the drastic reductions needed to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere?
What are the policy actions that can overcome the barriers to implementation?
How can climate mitigation policy be aligned with sustainable development policies?
A description of mitigation options for the various societal sectors that contribute to emissions forms the core of this report. Seven chapters cover mitigation options in energy supply, transport, buildings, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste management, with one additional chapter dealing with the cross-sectoral issues. The authors have provided the reader with an up-to-date overview of the characteristics of the various sectors, the mitigation measures that could be employed, the costs and specific barriers, and the policy implementation issues. In addition, estimates are given of the overall mitigation potential and costs per sector, and for the world as a whole. The report combines information from bottom-up technological studies with results of topdown modelling exercises. Mitigation measures for the short term are placed in the long-term perspective of realising stabilisation of global average temperatures. This provides policy-relevant information on the relation between the stringency of stabilisation targets and the timing and amount of mitigation necessary.