Climate Policy


24th September, 2015

Integrating Global Climate Change Mitigation Goals with Other Sustainability Objectives: A Synthesis

Christoph von Stechow, David McCollum, Keywan Riahi, Jan C Minx, Elmar Kriegler, Detlef P van Vuuren, Jessica Jewell, Carmenza Robledo-Abad, Edgar Hertwich, Massimo Tavoni, Sevastianos Mirasgedis, Oliver Lah, Joyashree Roy, Yacob Mulugetta, Navroz K Dubash, Johannes Bollen, Diana Urge-Vorsatz and Ottmar Edenhofer


Achieving a truly sustainable energy transition requires progress across multiple dimensions beyond climate change mitigation goals. This article reviews and synthesizes results from disparate strands of literature on the coeffects of mitigation to inform climate policy choices at different governance levels. The literature documents many potential cobenefits of mitigation for nonclimate objectives, such as human health and energy security, but little is known about their overall welfare implications. Integrated model studies highlight that climate policies as part of well-designed policy packages reduce the overall cost of achieving multiple sustainability objectives. The incommensurability and uncertainties around the quantification of coeffects become, however, increasingly pervasive the more the perspective shifts from sectoral and local to economy wide and global, the more objectives are analyzed, and the more the results are expressed in economic rather than nonmonetary terms. Different strings of evidence highlight the role and importance of energy demand reductions for realizing synergies across multiple sustainability objectives.

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