Effectiveness of setting cumulative carbon dioxide emissions reduction targets
In current policies, targets for GHG (greenhouse gas) and more specifically CO2 emissions are set on the basis of annual emissions. However, warming effects associated with global average temperature rise depend on accumulation of GHG in the atmosphere. Due to the quantity and longevity of CO2 in the atmosphere there is increasing awareness that taking into account cumulative CO2 emissions in defining targets for restraining the growth of CO2 emissions would be particularly effective. The notion of effectiveness is linked to measuring the degree of achievement of the objectives. Considering CO2 emissions targets set over a few decades, the path of emissions reduction contains relevant information that cannot be captured by a classical measure like the distance to the target.
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