A small set of measures could improve human health, food security and reduce near-term warming

  • Global implementation of 17 well-proven measures could reduce global warming by up to 0.5 degrees in the coming decades.
  • At the same time, these measures would avoid millions of premature deaths annually, and increase crop yields. 
  • These measures target emissions of black carbon and methane.

Tropospheric ozone and black carbon (BC) contribute to both degraded air quality and global warming. We considered ~400 emission control measures to reduce these pollutants by using current technology and experience. We identified 14 measures targeting methane and BC emissions that reduce projected global mean warming ~0.5°C by 2050. This strategy avoids 0.7 to 4.7 million annual premature deaths from outdoor air pollution and increases annual crop yields by 30 to 135 million metric tons due to ozone reductions in 2030 and beyond. Benefits of methane emissions reductions are valued at $700 to $5000 per metric ton, which is well above typical marginal abatement costs (less than $250). The selected controls target different sources and influence climate on shorter time scales than those of carbon dioxide–reduction measures. Implementing both substantially reduces the risks of crossing the 2°C threshold..



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Last edited: 22 July 2013


Markus Amann

Program Director

Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases

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Zbigniew Klimont

Research Scholar

Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases

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