Biophysical and economic limits to negative CO2 emissions

Pete Smith*, Steven J. Davis, Felix Creutzig, Sabine Fuss, Jan Minx, Benoit Gabrielle, Etsushi Kato, Robert B. Jackson, Annette Cowie, Elmar Kriegler, Detlef P. van Vuuren, Joeri Rogelj, Philippe Ciais, Jennifer Milne, Josep G. Canadell, David McCollum, Glen Peters, Robbie Andrew, Volker Krey, Gyami ShresthaPierre Friedlingstein, Thomas Gasser, Arnulf Gruebler, Wolfgang K. Heidug, Matthias Jonas, Chris D. Jones, Florian Kraxner, Emma Littleton, Jason Lowe, Jose Roberto Moreira, Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Michael Obersteiner, Anand Patwardhan, Mathis Rogner, Ed Rubin, Ayyoob Sharifi, Asbjorn Torvanger, Yoshiki Yamagata, Jae Edmonds, Yongsung Cho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

885 Citations (Scopus)
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To have a >50% chance of limiting warming below 2 degrees C, most recent scenarios from integrated assessment models (IAMs) require large-scale deployment of negative emissions technologies (NETs). These are technologies that result in the net removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. We quantify potential global impacts of the different NETs on various factors (such as land, greenhouse gas emissions, water, albedo, nutrients and energy) to determine the biophysical limits to, and economic costs of, their widespread application. Resource implications vary between technologies and need to be satisfactorily addressed if NETs are to have a significant role in achieving climate goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalNature Climate Change
Early online date7 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

The views expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not represent those of a particular governmental agency or interagency body. This analysis was initiated at a Global Carbon Project meeting on NETs in Laxenburg, Austria, in April 2013 and contributes to the MaGNET program ( G.P.P. was supported by the Norwegian Research Council (236296). C.D.J. was supported by the Joint UK DECC/Defra Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme (GA01101). J.G.C. acknowledges support from the Australian Climate Change Science Program. E.Ka. and Y.Y. were supported by the ERTDF (S-10) from the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.


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