The proximal driver of fossil fuel CO2 emissions, fuel supply and demand, offers an efficient observational opportunity since fuel is a traceable, physical commodity that moves through economic "chokepoints", e.g., refineries and coal trains but offers far less in terms of process understanding than the more wieldy upstream economic drivers. Conceptualizing a carbon monitoring system centered primarily on atmospheric concentration measurements, could lead to great inefficiencies in the allocation of limited scientific resources, including missed opportunities to provide a wider suite of decision-support information. Direct observation of fossil fuel CO2 emissions may be a more economically efficient means by which to monitor and verify emissions. A complete carbon monitoring system (CMS) could act as an independent quantification system for a carbon trading market, an eventuality that many climate policy experts consider essential to significant CO2 emission mitigation. Like any traded commodity, price is strongly linked to trust in accurate quantification.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)