EMF Publications

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EMF-21: Land in Climate Stabilization Modeling: Initial Observations


Energy Modeling Forum - Stanford University

Published by
EMF Report 21, page(s): 31
July 2008

This report presents and evaluates the role of land in climate stabilization scenarios. Specifically, we consider stabilization results from four of the EMF-21 study models, as well as more recent stabilization results from two of the EMF-21 modeling teams. We find that land based mitigation—agriculture, forestry, and biomass liquid and solid energy substitutes—are a part of the cost-effective portfolio of mitigation strategies for long-term climate stabilization; thereby, reducing the cost of stabilization. Agriculture, forestry, and biomass can reduce costs throughout the century with annual abatement increasing per year. Agriculture and forestry assume larger shares of annual abatement in the near term, while biomass assumes a substantial mitigation role in the second half of the century. Cumulatively, agriculture, compared to forestry and biomass, is projected to account for a smaller, though potentially strategically important, share of the total abatement required for stabilization. Biomass, in particular, may have a substantial abatement role and therefore a large effect of the total mitigation cost of stabilization. Overall, the current scenarios find that land mitigation provides flexibility and reduces total costs; however, large fossil fuel emissions reductions will still be required for stabilization. Land based mitigation technologies not only provide a potential bridge to future fossil fuel emissions mitigation strategies, but they could also provide a steady and significant opportunity for managing the cost of climate stabilization.