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Climate change mitigation

Climate change mitigation are actions to limit the magnitude and/or rate of long-term climate change.

Climate change mitigation generally involves reductions in human (anthropogenic) emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs).

Mitigation may also be achieved by increasing the capacity of carbon sinks, e.g., through reforestation.

By contrast, adaptation to global warming are actions taken to manage the eventual (or unavoidable) impacts of global warming, e.g., by building dikes in response to sea level rise.

Examples of mitigation include switching to low-carbon energy sources, such as renewable and nuclear energy, and expanding forests and other "sinks" to remove greater amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Energy efficiency can also play a major role, for example, through improving the insulation of buildings.Another approach to climate change mitigation is geoengineering.

The main international treaty on climate change is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In 2010, Parties to the UNFCCC agreed that future global warming should be limited to below 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) relative to the pre-industrial level.

Analysis suggests that meeting the 2 °C target would require annual global emissions of greenhouse gases to peak before the year 2020, and decline significantly thereafter, with emissions in 2050 reduced by 30-50% compared to 1990 levels.

Analyses by the United Nations Environment Programme and International Energy Agency suggest that current policies (as of 2012) are too weak to achieve the 2 °C target.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Climate change mitigation", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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July 28, 2015

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updated 12:56 pm ET