Negative emissions-Part 2: Costs, potentials and side effects

Sabine Fuss*, William F. Lamb, Max W. Callaghan, Jerome Hilaire, Felix Creutzig, Thorben Amann, Tim Beringer, Wagner de Oliveira Garcia, Jens Hartmann, Tarun Khanna, Gunnar Luderer, Gregory F. Nemet, Joeri Rogelj, Pete Smith, Jose Luis Vicente Vicente, Jennifer Wilcox, Maria del Mar Zamora Dominguez, Jan C. Minx

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

85 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The most recent IPCC assessment has shown an important role for negative emissions technologies (NETs) in limiting global warming to 2 degrees C cost-effectively. However, a bottom-up, systematic, reproducible, and transparent literature assessment of the different options to remove CO2 from the atmosphere is currently missing. In part 1 of this three-part review on NETs, we assemble a comprehensive set of the relevant literature so far published, focusing on seven technologies: bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), afforestation and reforestation, direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS), enhanced weathering, ocean fertilisation, biochar, and soil carbon sequestration. In this part, part 2 of the review, we present estimates of costs, potentials, and side-effects for these technologies, and qualify them with the authors' assessment. Part 3 reviews the innovation and scaling challenges that must be addressed to realise NETs deployment as a viable climate mitigation strategy. Based on a systematic review of the literature, our best estimates for sustainable global NET potentials in 2050 are 0.5-3.6 GtCO(2) yr(-1) for afforestation and reforestation, 0.5-5GtCO(2) yr(-1) for BECCS, 0.5-2GtCO(2) yr(-1) for biochar, 2-4 GtCO(2) yr(-1) for enhanced weathering, 0.5-5 GtCO(2) yr(-1) for DACCS, and up to 5GtCO(2) yr(-1) for soil carbon sequestration. Costs vary widely across the technologies, as do their permanency and cumulative potentials beyond 2050. It is unlikely that a single NET will be able to sustainably meet the rates of carbon uptake described in integrated assessment pathways consistent with 1.5 degrees C of global warming.

Original languageEnglish
Article number063002
Number of pages47
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume13
Issue number6
Early online date22 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • climate change mitigation
  • negative emission technologies
  • carbon dioxide removal
  • scenarios
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE MITIGATION
  • SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION
  • GREENHOUSE-GAS MITIGATION
  • OCEAN IRON FERTILIZATION
  • CO2 STORAGE CAPACITY
  • LAND-USE SCENARIOS
  • GLOBAL BIOENERGY POTENTIALS
  • LIFE-CYCLE ASSESSMENT
  • LARGE-SCALE CAPTURE
  • DIRECT AIR CAPTURE

Cite this

Fuss, S., Lamb, W. F., Callaghan, M. W., Hilaire, J., Creutzig, F., Amann, T., ... Minx, J. C. (2018). Negative emissions-Part 2: Costs, potentials and side effects. Environmental Research Letters, 13(6), [063002]. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aabf9f