BOOK chapter / Climate
Climate Change Mitigation
Chapter in: Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Climate Action
Climate Change Mitigation refers to actions to reduce or prevent emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) causing human-induced climate change. Mitigation can be reached by using new technologies, fostering renewable energies, making older energy systems more efficient, or changing management practices or consumer behavior. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2014), mitigation can be defined as “the effort to control the human sources of climate change and their cumulative impacts, notably the emission of GHGs and other pollutants, such as black carbon particles, that also affect the planet’s energy balance. Mitigation also includes efforts to enhance the processes that remove GHGs from the atmosphere, known as sinks”.
Climate change is a modification in the statistical distribution of weather patterns that lasts for an extended period of time. Climate change may refer to an alteration in average weather conditions, or in the time variation of weather within the context of longer-term average conditions. In many regions, temperature changes and sea-level rise are putting ecosystems under stress and affecting human well-being. Because mitigation lowers the anticipated effects of climate change as well as the risks of extreme impacts, it is part of a broader policy strategy that includes adaptation to already happening climate change impacts. Adaptation and mitigation should be considered holistically as two faces of the same effort to combat the negative impacts of climate change.