CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

Costs and global impacts of black carbon abatement strategies

Kristin Rypdal, Nathan Appleton Rive, Terje Koren Berntsen, Zbigniew Klimont, Torben Kenea Mideksa, Gunnar Myhre, Ragnhild Bieltvedt Skeie

Abatement of particulate matter has traditionally been driven by health concerns rather than its role in global warming. Here we assess future abatement strategies in terms of how much they reduce the climate impact of black carbon (BC) and organic carbon (OC) from contained combustion. We develop global scenarios which take into account regional differences in climate impact, costs of abatement and ability to pay, as well as both the direct and indirect (snow-albedo) climate impact of BC and OC. To represent the climate impact, we estimate consistent region-specific values of direct and indirect global warming potential (GWP) and global temperature potential (GTP). The indirect GWP has been estimated using a physical approach and includes the effect of change in albedo from BC deposited on snow. The indirect GWP is highest in the Middle East followed by Russia, Europe and North America, while the total GWP is highest in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. We conclude that prioritizing emission reductions in Asia represents the most cost-efficient global abatement strategy for BC because Asia is (1) responsible for a large share of total emissions, (2) has lower abatement costs compared to Europe and North America and (3) has large health cobenefits from reduced PM10 emissions.

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