Long-term marginal abatement cost curves of non-CO2 greenhouse gases

Mathijs J.H.M. Harmsen (Corresponding Author), Detlef P. van Vuuren, Dali R. Nayak, Andries F. Hof, Lena Höglund-Isaksson, Paul L. Lucas, Jens B. Nielsen, Pete Smith, Elke Stehfest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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This study presents a new comprehensive set of long-term Marginal Abatement Cost (MAC) curves of all major non-CO2 greenhouse gas emission sources. The work builds on existing short-term MAC curve datasets and recent literature on individual mitigation measures. The new MAC curves include current technology and costs information as well as estimates of technology development and removal of implementation barriers to capture long-term dynamics. Compared to earlier work, we find a higher projected maximum reduction potential (MRP) of nitrous oxide (N2O) and a lower MRP of methane (CH4). The combined MRP for all non-CO2 gases is similar but has been extended to also capture mitigation measures that can be realized at higher implementation costs. When applying the new MAC curves in a cost-optimal, integrated assessment model-based 2.6 W/m2 scenario, the total non-CO2 mitigation is projected to be 10.9 Mt CO2 equivalents in 2050 (i.e. 58% reduction compared to baseline emissions) and 15.6 Mt CO2equivalents in 2100 (i.e. a 71% reduction). In applying the new MAC curves, we account for inertia in thline implementation speed of mitigation measures. Although this does not strongly impact results in an optimal strategy, it means that the contribution of non-CO2 mitigation could be more limited if ambitious climate policy is delayed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-149
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
Early online date14 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • Non-CO2
  • mitigation
  • MAC curves
  • climate policy


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