Designing climate change mitigation plans that add up

B. Bajželj, J. M. Allwood, J. M. Cullen

Mitigation plans to combat climate change depend on the combined implementation of many abatement options, but the options interact. Published anthropogenic emissions inventories are disaggregated by gas, sector, country, or final energy form. This allows the assessment of novel energy supply options, but is insufficient for understanding how options for efficiency and demand reduction interact. A consistent framework for understanding the drivers of emissions is therefore developed, with a set of seven complete inventories reflecting all technical options for mitigation connected through lossless allocation matrices. The required data set is compiled and calculated from a wide range of industry, government, and academic reports. The framework is used to create a global Sankey diagram to relate human demand for services to anthropogenic emissions. The application of this framework is demonstrated through a prediction of per-capita emissions based on service demand in different countries, and through an example showing how the “technical potentials” of a set of separate mitigation options should be combined.