Reducing GHG emissions: Cost-effective options

With the debate and growing consensus about the drastic effects greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will have on the planet, our quality of life, and the economy, it is surprising how little research has been done to identify practical and sensible solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There is very little information available on what steps should be taken first to reduce emissions on the global or even national level. There is even less information about the estimated costs or reducing emissions.

In a study on sustainability and reducing carbon emissions in the US, McKinsey & Company has identified abatement solutions with marginal costs of less than $50 per ton of CO2e. While some of the abatement options require “strong, coordinated, economy-wide action,” there are some negative marginal cost options that can be effective on the business or residential level, including updating lighting and electronic equipment and improving the building envelope.

The study concluded that using technologies available today, the US could achieve reductions of 3.0 to 4.5 gigatons of CO2e in 2030 using abatement options with marginal costs less than $50 per ton.

Additionally, efforts to reduce GHG emissions would be good for the economy in the long run, saying:

A concerted nationwide effort to reduce GHG emissions would almost certainly stimulate economic forces and create business opportunities that we cannot foresee today and that may accelerate the rate of abatement the nation can achieve, thereby reducing the overall cost.

Source: Reducing US Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How much and at what cost?