Importance of non-CO2 emissions in carbon management

Alice Bows-Larkin*, Carly McLachlan, Sarah Mander, Ruth Wood, Mirjam Röder, Patricia Thornley, Elena Dawkins, Clair Gough, Laura O'Keefe, Maria Sharmina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: GHG budgets highlight a need for urgency, yet analyses are often CO2-focused, with less attention paid to non-CO2. Results: In this paper, scenarios are used to explore non-CO2 drivers and barriers to their mitigation, drawing out implications for CO2 management. Results suggest that even optimistic technological and consumption-related developments lead to on-going increases in global N2O, largely to improve food security within a changing climate. This contrasts with existing analysis, where lower levels of N2O by 2050 are projected. Conclusions: As avoiding '2°C' limits the emissions budget, constraints on reducing non-CO2 add pressure to energy system decarbonization. Overlooking how a changing climate and rising consumption restricts efforts to curb non-CO2 will result in policies aiming to avoid 2°C falling short of the mark.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-210
Number of pages18
JournalCarbon Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted
use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of
the named author(s) have been asserted.


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