Biophysical and Economic Constraints on China’s Natural Climate Solutions

Nan Lu, Hanqin Tian, Bojie Fu*, Huiqian Yu, Shilong Piao, Shiyin Chen, Ya Li, Xiaoyong Li, Mengyu Wang, Zidong Li, Lu Zhang, Philippe Ciais, Pete Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
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Natural climate solutions (NCS) are strategies for climate mitigation in the land sector that increase carbon storage or avoid GHG emissions. Here we estimate China's historic NCS mitigation at 0.6 (0.5-0.7) PgCO(2)e yr(-1) (95% CI) during 2000-2020 (8% of fossil CO2 emissions in the contemporary period). Through new NCS activities, the future maximum potential for NCS is projected at 0.6 (0.3-1.0) PgCO(2)e yr(-1) (6% of fossil CO2 emissions) during 2020-2030 and 1.0 (0.6-1.4) PgCO(2)e yr(-1) during 2020-2060. Of the future NCS potentials, 26-31%, 62-65% and 90-91% can be achieved at mitigation costs of US$10, US$50 and US$100 (MgCO(2)e)(-1), respectively. Thus, NCS can contribute substantially to China's Nationally Determined Contributions over the next 10 to 40 years but require a national strategy to reach climate goals and ensure co-benefits for people and nature.

Managing natural systems to mitigation climate change is a key strategy for limiting warming. In China, such natural climate solutions could offset 6% of CO2 emissions during 2020-2030, contributing to mitigation goals but highlighting the importance of emissions reductions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-853
Number of pages16
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number9
Early online date18 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022




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