1.1. Purpose and Context

The purpose of this Technical Paper is to provide an overview and analysis of technologies and measures to limit and reduce GHG emissions and to enhance GHG sinks under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The "Berlin Mandate," which was agreed upon at the first Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention (Berlin, March/April 1995), provides the context for the paper. This mandate establishes a process that aims to elaborate policies and measures, and set quantified emission limitation and reduction objectives.

1.2. Scope and Organization 1 

This Technical Paper provides a sectoral analysis of technologies and practices that will reduce growth in GHG emissions and of measures that can stimulate and accelerate the use of these technologies and practices, with separate consideration of broad economic policy instruments. The paper focuses on technologies and measures for the countries listed in Annex I of the FCCC, while noting information as appropriate for use by non-Annex I countries. Analysis of these technologies and measures is provided in terms of a framework of criteria, which was authorized by IPCC-XII (Mexico City, 11-13 September 1996).

Technologies and measures are examined over three time periods, with a focus on the short term (present to 2010) and the medium term (2010-2020), but also including discussion of longer term (e.g., 2050) possibilities and opportunities. Many of the data in the SAR were summarized as global values; for this report, data for the Annex I countries also are provided to the extent possible, as a group or categorized into OECD countries and countries with economies in transition. All of the information and conclusions contained in this report are consistent with the SAR and with previously published IPCC reports.

The Technical Paper begins with a discussion of three energy end- use sectors -- commercial/residential/institutional buildings, transportation, and industry. These discussions are followed by a section on the energy supply and transformation sector, which produces and transforms primary energy to supply secondary energy to the energy end-use sectors.2  Technologies and measures that can be adopted in the agriculture, forestry, and waste management sectors are then discussed. Measures that will affect emissions mainly in individual sectors (e.g., fuel taxes in the transportation sector) are covered in the sectoral discussions listed above; broader measures affecting the national economy (e.g., energy or carbon taxes) are discussed in a final section on economic instruments.

The paper identifies and evaluates different options on the basis of three criteria (see Box 2). Because of the difficulty of estimating the economic and market potential of different technologies and the effectiveness of different measures in achieving emission reduction objectives, and because of the danger of double-counting the results achieved by measures that tap the same technical potentials, the paper does not estimate total global emissions reductions. Nor does the paper recommend adoption of any particular approaches. Each Party to the Convention will decide, based on its needs, obligations, and national priorities, what is appropriate for its own national circumstances.

Box 2. Criteria for Evaluation of Technologies and Measures

  1. GHG and Other Environmental Considerations

  2. GHG Reduction Potential
    -- Tons of carbon equivalent 4
    -- per cent of IS92a baseline and range (IS92c-e)
  3. Other Environmental Considerations
    -- Percentage change in emissions of other gases/particulates
    -- Biodiversity, soil conservation, watershed management, indoor air quality, etc.
  4. Economic and Social Considerations

  5. Cost-Effectiveness
    -- Average and marginal costs
  6. Project-Level Considerations
    -- Capital and operating costs, opportunity costs, incremental costs
  7. Macro-Economic Considerations
    -- GDP, jobs created or lost, effects on inflation or interest rates, implications for long-term development, foreign exchange and trade, other economic benefits or drawbacks
  8. Equity Considerations
    -- Differential impacts on countries, income groups, or future generations
  9. Administrative, Institutional, and Political Considerations

  10. Administrative Burden
    -- Institutional capabilities to undertake necessary information collection, monitoring, enforcement, permitting, etc.
  11. Political Considerations
    -- Capacity to pass through political and bureaucratic processes and sustain political support
    -- Consistency with other public policies
  12. Replicability
    -- Adaptability to different geographical and socio-economic- cultural settings

1.3. Sources of Information

The Technical Paper has been drafted in a manner consistent with the rules of procedure for IPCC Technical Papers agreed to at IPCC-XI (Rome, 11-15 December 1995) and further interpreted at IPCC-XII. The contributors and participating governments of the IPCC recognize that a simplification of the review process is necessary to enable the Technical Papers to be completed in a time frame that meets the needs of the Parties of the FCCC. Therefore, materials agreed to be appropriate for use in this Technical Paper are restricted to information derived from IPCC reports and relevant portions of references cited in these reports, and models and scenarios used to provide information in IPCC reports. In accordance with these requirements, information and studies that were not referenced or cited in any IPCC report are not included in the discussion. Important information on potential reductions from energy savings or as captured through particular measures is not always available in the literature; in the absence of such information, the authors of this report have in certain instances presented their own estimates and professional judgment in evaluating the performance of these measures.

1.4. Measures Considered

The implementation of technologies and practices to mitigate GHG emissions over and above the normal background rates of improvement in technology and replacement of depreciated capital stock is unlikely to occur in the absence of measures to encourage their use. Because circumstances differ among countries and regions and a variety of barriers presently inhibit the development and deployment of these technologies and practices, no one measure will be sufficient for the timely development, adoption, and diffusion of mitigation options. Rather, a combination of measures adapted to national, regional, and local conditions will be required. These measures must reflect the widely differing institutional, social, cultural, economic, technical, and natural resource endowments in individual countries and regions, and the optimal mix will vary from country to country. The combinations of measures should aim to reduce barriers to the commercialization, diffusion, and transfer of GHG mitigation technologies; mobilize financial resources; support capacity building in developing countries and countries with economies in transition; and induce behavioral changes. A number of relevant measures may be introduced for reasons other than climate mitigation, such as raising efficiency or addressing local/regional economic and environmental issues.

A range of potential measures are analyzed in this paper, including market-based programs (carbon or energy taxes, full-cost pricing, use or phaseout of subsidies, tradable emissions permits/quotas); voluntary agreements (energy use and carbon emissions standards, government procurement,3  promotional programs for energy-efficient products); regulatory measures (mandatory equipment or building standards, product and practices bans, non-tradable emissions permits/quotas); and RD&D. Some of these measures could be applied at the national or the international levels.

1.4.1. Provision of Information and Capacity Building

The provision of information and capacity building are considered to be necessary components of many of the measures and policies discussed in the paper, and generally are not examined as separate types of measures.

In order for successful GHG abatement techniques and technologies to be diffused to a wide range of users, there needs to be a concerted effort to disseminate information about their technical, managerial, and economic aspects. In addition to information availability, training programs are needed to ensure that successful programs can be implemented. There is relatively little international transfer of knowledge to non-Annex I countries. Including information and training in loan and foreign assistance packages by aid donors and lending institutions could be an effective mechanism. International agencies such as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) might take on major information and training responsibilities for GHG-related technology transfer. International and national trade organizations might also be effective in providing information and training.

Information and education measures include efforts to provide information to decisionmakers with the intention of altering behavior. They can help overcome incomplete knowledge of economic, environmental, and other characteristics of promising technologies that are currently available or under development. Information measures have aided the development and commercialization of new energy demand-management and supply technologies in national or regional markets. In addition, information and education may be instrumental in shaping socio-economic practices as well as behavioral attitudes toward the way energy services are provided and demanded. The ability of information and education programs to induce changes in GHG emissions is difficult to quantify.

Training and capacity building may be prerequisites for decisionmaking related to climate change and for formulating appropriate policies and measures to address this issue. Training and capacity building can promote timely dissemination of information at all levels of society, facilitating acceptance of new regulations or voluntary agreements. Capacity building also can help catalyze and accelerate the development and utilization of sustainable energy supply and use technologies.

1.4.2. International Coordination and Institutions

Equity issues, as well as international economic competitiveness considerations, may require that certain measures be anchored in regional or international agreements, while other policies can be implemented unilaterally. As a result, a key issue is the extent to which any particular measure might require or benefit from "common action" and what form such action might take. The level of common action could range from a group of countries adopting common measures, coordinating the implementation of similar measures, or working to achieve common aims, with flexibility in the technologies, measures, and policies used. Other forms of common action could include the development of a common menu of useful actions from which each country would select measures best suited to its situation, or the development of coordination protocols for consistent monitoring and accounting of emissions reductions or for the conduct and monitoring of international tradable emissions initiatives.

This paper does not assess levels or types of international coordination; rather, elements of the analysis illustrate potential advantages and disadvantages of actions taken both at the level of individual countries and internationally.

1.5. Criteria for Analysis

In order to provide a structure and basis for comparison of options, the authors developed a framework of criteria for analyzing technologies and measures (see Box 2). These criteria focus the discussion on some of the important benefits and drawbacks of a large number of measures.

The authors focus their evaluations on the main criteria (i.e., GHG reductions and other environmental results; economic and social effects; and administrative, institutional, and political issues), and include elements from all three categories in the discussion of each technology and measure (see tables within respective sections). Because of the limited length and broad scope of the paper, every option cannot be evaluated using each detailed criterion listed. In particular, it is difficult to judge precisely the effectiveness of various instruments in achieving emissions reduction objectives, the economic costs at both the project and macro-economic levels, and other factors, such as other types of environmental effects resulting from the implementation of various options. In some instances, the authors were unable to quantify the cost-effectiveness or fully evaluate other cost considerations noted in the criteria for evaluation. Such cost evaluation could not be completed because costs depend on the specific technical option promoted and the means of implementation; evaluation of the costs of measures has not been well-documented by Annex I countries, and is not available in the literature at this time. Assessing the performance of any of the wide range of technologies and measures is further complicated by the need to consider implementation issues that can affect performance, and by the likelihood that the performance of measures will vary when combined into different packages.

The criteria used by governments for assessing technologies and measures--and the priority placed on each criterion--may differ from those listed here. The information provided about the performance of the technologies and measures described in the SAR with respect to these criteria is intended to inform the choice of options by governments.

1.6. Baseline Projections of Energy Use and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Historically, global energy consumption has grown at an average annual rate of about 2% for almost 2 centuries, although growth rates vary considerably over time and among regions. The predominant GHG is CO2, which represents more than half of the increase in radiative forcing from anthropogenic GHG sources. The majority of CO2 arises from the use of fossil fuels, which in turn account for about 75% of total global energy use.

Energy consumed in 1990 resulted in the release of 6 Gt C as CO2. About 72% of this energy was delivered to end users, accounting for 3.7 Gt C in CO2 emissions; the remaining 28% was used in energy conversion and distribution, releasing 2.3 Gt C as CO2 (see Figure 1). In 1990, the three energy end-use sectors accounting for the largest CO2 releases from direct fuel use were industry (45% of total CO2 releases), transportation (21%), and residential/commercial/institutional buildings (29%). Transport sector energy use and related CO2 emissions have grown most rapidly over the past 2 decades.

Figure 1: Major energy and carbon flows through the global energy system in 1990, EJ and Gt C (billion tons) elemental carbon. Carbon flows do not include biomass (SAR II, B.2.1, Figure B-2).

As shown in Tables A3 and A4 in Appendix A, Annex I countries are major energy users and fossil fuel CO2 emitters, although their share of global fossil fuel carbon emissions has been declining. Non-Annex I countries account for a smaller portion of total global CO2 emissions than Annex I countries, but projections indicate that the share of the non- Annex I countries will increase significantly in all scenarios by 2050.

The mitigation potential of many of the technologies and measures is estimated using a range of baseline projections provided by the IPCC IS92 "a," "c," and "e" scenarios for 2010, 2020, and 2050 (see Tables A1-A4 in Appendix A). The IS92 scenarios (IPCC 1992, 1994) provide a current picture of global energy use and GHG emissions, as well as a range of future projections without mitigation policies, based on assumptions and trend information available in late 1991. By providing common and consistent baselines against which the authors compare percentage reductions in energy use and related GHG emissions, the scenarios make possible rough estimates of the potential emission reduction contributions of different technologies and measures. The rapid changes in national economic trends during the early 1990s for several of the Annex I countries with economies in transition were not captured in these scenarios, hence are not accounted for in quantitative elements of these analyses.

Across the IS92 scenarios, global energy needs are projected to continue to grow, at least through the first half of the next century. Without policy intervention, CO2 emissions will grow, although this growth will be slower than the expected increase in energy consumption, because of the assumed "normal" rate of decarbonization of energy supply. However, the global decarbonization rate of energy will not fully offset the average annual 2% growth rate of global energy needs.

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