Cost-effective implementation of the Paris Agreement using flexible greenhouse gas metrics
Journal article, 2021

Greenhouse gas (GHG) metrics, that is, conversion factors to evaluate the emissions of non-CO 2 GHGs on a common scale with CO 2 , serve crucial functions in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. While different metrics have been proposed, their economic cost-effectiveness has not been investigated under a range of pathways, including those substantially overshooting the temperature targets. Here, we show that cost-effective metrics for methane that minimize the overall mitigation costs are time-dependent, primarily determined by the pathway, and strongly influenced by temperature overshoot. Parties to the Paris Agreement have already adopted the conventional GWP100 (100-year global warming potential), which is shown to be a good approximation of cost-effective metrics for the coming decades. In the longer term, however, we suggest that parties consider adapting the choice of common metrics to the future pathway as it unfolds, as part of the recurring global stocktake, if global cost-effectiveness is a key consideration.


Katsumasa Tanaka

National Institute for Environmental Studies of Japan

University Paris-Saclay

Sorbonne University

Olivier Boucher

Sorbonne University

Philippe Ciais

University Paris-Saclay

Daniel Johansson

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Johannes Morfeldt

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Science advances

2375-2548 (eISSN)

Vol. 7 22 eabf9020

On track to climate neutral long-distance travel 2045 - technology, travel patterns, high-altitude impact

VINNOVA (2019-03233), 2019-11-05 -- 2023-06-30.

Subject Categories

Renewable Bioenergy Research

Other Environmental Engineering

Energy Systems





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DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf9020

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6/9/2021 1