The carbon dioxide removal gap

William F. Lamb, Thomas Gasser, Rosa M. Roman-Cuesta, Giacomo Grassi, Matthew J. Gidden, Carter M. Powis, Oliver Geden, Gregory Nemet, Yoga Pratama, Keywan Riahi, Stephen M. Smith, Jan Steinhauser, Naomi E. Vaughan, Harry B. Smith, Jan C. Minx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rapid emissions reductions, including reductions in deforestation-based land emissions, are the dominant source of global climate mitigation potential in the coming decades. However, carbon dioxide removal (CDR) will also have an important role to play. Despite this, it remains unclear whether current national proposals for CDR align with temperature targets. Here we show the ‘CDR gap’, that is, CDR efforts proposed by countries fall short of those in integrated assessment model scenarios that limit warming to 1.5 °C. However, the most ambitious proposals for CDR are close to levels in a low-energy demand scenario with the most-limited CDR scaling and aggressive near-term emissions reductions. Further, we observe that many countries propose to expand land-based removals, but none yet commit to substantively scaling novel methods such as bioenergy carbon capture and storage, biochar or direct air carbon capture and storage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Climate Change
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2024

Cite this