Climate Change Mitigation

From Open Risk Manual


Climate Change Mitigation refers to any action taken by governments, businesses, or people to reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions, or to enhance carbon sinks that remove these gases from the atmosphere.[1]

To limit global warming to 1.5° C, which is the critical goal of the Paris Agreement, the world must implement climate change mitigation actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent before 2030 and reach net-zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by mid-century.

An economic activity shall be considered to contribute substantially to climate change mitigation where that activity substantially contributes to the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level which prevents dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system by avoiding or reducing greenhouse gas emissions or enhancing greenhouse gas removals.[2]

Reducing or preventing greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved by transitioning to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, using energy more efficiently, adopting low carbon or carbon-free transportation modalities, promoting sustainable agriculture and land use, and changing production and consumption models and diet behaviors. Enhancing carbon sinks can be achieved by restoring forests, wetlands, and marshlands, maintaining soil health, and protecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

In EU legislative context climate change mitigation means the process of reducing GHG emissions and holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1,5 °C above pre-industrial levels, as laid down in the Paris Agreement. (based on the Regulation (EU) 2020/852)

Climate Change Mitigation Pathways

Climate change mitigation may be achieved through any of the following means, including through process or product innovation:

  1. generating, storing or using renewable energy or climate-neutral energy (including carbon-neutral energy), including through using innovative technology with a potential for significant future savings or through necessary reinforcement of the grid;
  2. improving energy efficiency;
  3. increasing clean or climate-neutral mobility;
  4. switching to use of renewable materials;
  5. increasing carbon capture and storage use;
  6. phasing out anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, including from fossil fuels;
  7. establishing energy infrastructure required for enabling decarbonisation of energy systems;
  8. producing clean and efficient fuels from renewable or carbon-neutral sources.

GHG Migitation Targets and Goals

The setting and tracking of climate change migitation targets and goals is the subject of formal standards, e.g. the GHG Protocol Mitigation Goal Standard.

Issues and Challenges

  • In order for mitigation actions to be successful, it is crucial that countries develop supportive environments through legislation, policies, and investments.

See Also

Futher Resources


  1. The Climate Dictionary, UNDP, 2023
  2. Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance Taxonomy, Technical Report, June 2019