Taking Global Action to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In early 2011 the Center for Clean Air Policy launched the Mitigation Action Implementation Network (MAIN) that assists middle-income countries in Latin America and Asia to implement NAMAs. MAIN was founded to promote the exchange of best practices between developing countries that prepare NAMAs, and supporting developed countries. MAIN dialogues allow participants to craft strategies to make NAMAs attractive to possible funders, as well as designs that will best support effective policy outcomes for developing countries. While developing countries are at different stages of NAMA development, dialogue participants have made considerable progress in developing NAMAs, identifying barriers to NAMAs, and receiving feedback from their peers during these events.

Mitigation of climate change involves taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to enhance efforts aimed at reducing the dangerous impacts of global warming. This is in distinction to adaptation to global warming, which involves communities taking action to build resiliency to the effects of climate change. Scientific consensus on climate change, together with the precautionary principle and the fear of non-linear climate transitions is leading to increased worldwide efforts to develop new technologies and sciences and carefully manage others in an attempt to successfully mitigate the impacts of global climate change.

Currently, the world is working toward reaching a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the international plan designed for all countries to further reduce their GHG emissions. This plan is the largest mitigation effort set in place to date, as it sets GHG emissions reduction targets for developed countries and gives them flexibility on how to reach them.

Developing countries participate in the Kyoto Protocol in a number of ways, including through the Clean Development Mechanism, a program that encourages developers to finance cost-effective climate mitigation and sustainable development projects in developing countries to help meet developed country caps. The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol runs from 2008 to 2012, and international delegates are currently negotiating post-2012 targets through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In the U.S., where there is promise of a new president and significant activity in both houses of Congress, the window of opportunity is open wide to mitigate climate change. States are demonstrating leadership on taking significant mitigation efforts by establishing aggressive emissions reduction targets, developing regional cap-and-trade programs, and regulating carbon emissions from the power and automotive sectors.

What CCAP Is Doing With Mitigation