Long-term national climate strategies bet on forests and soils to reach net-zero

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Abstract

The deployment of carbon dioxide removal is essential to reach global and national net-zero emissions targets, but little attention has been paid to its practical deployment by countries. Here, we analyse how carbon dioxide removal methods are integrated into 41 of the 50 Long-term Low Emission Development Strategies submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), before 2022. We show that enhancing forest and soil carbon sinks are the most advocated strategies but are only explicitly quantified in 12. Residual emissions by 2050 are only quantified in 20 strategies and most of them use forests to achieve national net-zero targets. Strategies that quantify both residual emissions and carbon dioxide removal identify national constraints, such as wildfire risks to forests and limited geological CO2 storage capacity. These strategies also highlight the need for international cooperation. Taken together, we suggest that the UNFCCC should urgently strengthen its reporting requirements on long-term national climate strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number305
JournalCommunications Earth & Environment
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2022

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