Indicate separate contributions of long-lived and short-lived greenhouse gases in emission targets

Aug 1, 2023

As researchers who have published over recent years on the issue of comparing the climate effects of different greenhouse gases, we would like to highlight a simple innovation that would enhance the transparency of stocktakes of progress towards achieving any multi-decade-timescale global temperature goal. In addition to specifying targets for total CO2-equivalent emissions of all greenhouse gases, governments and corporations could also indicate the separate contribution to these totals from greenhouse gases with lifetimes around 100 years or longer, notably CO2 and nitrous oxide, and the contribution from Short-Lived Climate Forcers (SLCFs), notably methane and some hydrofluorocarbons. This separate indication would support an objective assessment of the implications of aggregated emission targets for global temperature, in alignment with the UNFCCC Parties’ Decision (4/CMA.1)1 to provide “information necessary for clarity, transparency and understanding” in nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and long-term low-emission development strategies (LT-LEDSs).

Publication details
The meaning of net zero The urgency of zero
Research paper
Allen, Myles Jenkins, Stuart
Climate and Atmospheric Science

Latest news

Net Zero Regulation Stocktake Publishes Results 
Net Zero Regulation Stocktake Publishes Results 

A new report published by Oxford Net Zero presents a comprehensive ‘stocktake’ of developments in net-zero regulation across the G20 in 2023. It focuses primarily on four regulatory domains: claims and financial products standards, disclosure, ... Read more

New ONZ report on rolling out renewables in the Global South
New ONZ report on rolling out renewables in the Global South

The scaling up of clean electricity, and using it to decarbonise other parts of the economy, is central to all decarbonisation pathways.  In their latest report, “Rolling out renewables in the Global South”, Oxford Net Zero’s Sam Fankhauser ... Read more

Oxford Net Zero at COP28
Oxford Net Zero at COP28

The Oxford Net Zero community is mobilising its collective expertise to help drive ambition at COP28, being held in the UAE from 30 November – 12 December. Read more

See more news and events