The present concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is higher than in the past 20,000 years or maybe even in the past 20 million years, and it continues to rise. Human activities have caused an increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, since the pre-industrial era by 30% for CO2 by 50% for CH4 and by 17% for N2O (IPCC TAR 2001). The primary causes are fossil fuel combustion and land use change (deforestation). Yet, our understanding of the interactions between land use change and climate are still uncertain; it can be both a source as well as a sink for greenhouse gases. Alternatives for fossil fuel combustion, such as bio-energy and offshore wind energy, have distinctively larger spatial claims compared to conventional energy resources. CcSP research aims to contribute to land use and water management in The Netherlands that is emission-low and contributes to our energy supply via multifunctional land use.
|Meeting the scientific challenge of establishing a full greenhouse gas budget of the Netherlands with acceptable accuracy also has long-term political relevance (post-Kyoto). In the hard-fought Kyoto protocol and its successors, parties agreed to reduce emissions for the first commitment period (around 2010) by a relatively modest percentage relative to 1990 emissions. For future commitments periods after 2012, much more demanding greenhouse gases (GHG) emission reductions (~20 -50%) are foreseen, requiring much more significant transitions in energy, industrial and land use related sectors. Many options will have spatial implications.|
Read article: Full carbon accounting: mission impossible?