An Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Intensity Targets
Target: Intensity. An Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Intensity Targets explores the underlying indicators, rationales, real-world applications, and implementation issues related to intensity targets.
Intensity based targets specify emissions reductions relative to productivity or economic output, such as per barrel of oil or per dollar of GDP. By contrast, absolute emissions targets specify reductions measured in metric tons, relative to an historical baseline.
This paper explores the use of GHG intensity targets as tools to help nations achieve real reductions in GHG emissions. It looks at examples of how intensity targets have sometimes masqueraded as real reductions, and it presents examples of how, properly set and enforced, intensity can result in real and meaningful reductions.
It argues that intensity targets should be part of the toolkit available to governments exploring reduction policies. Intensity targets are especially pertinent to developing countries. Correctly set, they can lead to absolute reductions in GHG emissions by creating incentives for energy efficiency and the development of clean energy technologies. Intensity targets can also accommodate the need for economic growth -growth that we must accept and embrace - especially in the poorest of nations. Intensity targets can help that growth to occur efficiently and sustainably.
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