Fairness and feasibility in deep mitigation pathways with novel carbon dioxide removal considering institutional capacity to mitigate

Matthew J. Gidden*, Elina Brutschin, Gaurav Ganti, Gamze Unlu, Behnam Zakeri, Oliver Fricko, Benjamin Mitterrutzner, Francesco Lovat, Keywan Riahi

*Korrespondierende*r Autor*in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


Questions around the technical and political feasibility of deep mitigation scenarios assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have increasingly been raised as have calls for more directly analyzing and incorporating aspects of justice and fairness. Simultaneously, models are increasing the technical representation of novel carbon-dioxide removal (CDR) approaches to provide policy-relevant analyses of mitigation portfolios in the context of the rising number of net-zero CO2 and GHG targets made by parties to the Paris Agreement. Still, in most cost-effective mitigation scenarios developed by integrated assessment models, a significant portion of mitigation is assumed to take place in developing regions. We address these intersecting questions through analyzing scenarios that include direct air capture of CO2 with storage (DACCS), a novel CDR technology that is not dependent on land potential and can be deployed widely, as well as regional variations in institutional capacity for mitigation based on country-level governance indicators. We find that including novel CDR and representations of institutional capacity can enhance both the feasibility and fairness of 2 °C and 1.5 °C high-overshoot scenarios, especially in the near term, with institutional capacity playing a stronger role than the presence of additional carbon removal methods. However, our results indicate that new CDR methods being studied by models are not likely to change regional mitigation outcomes of scenarios which achieve the 1.5 °C goal of the Paris Agreement. Thus, while engineered carbon removals like DACCS may play a significant role by midcentury, gross emissions reductions in mitigation pathways arriving at net-zero CO2 emissions in line with 1.5 °C do not substantially change. Our results highlight that further investment and development of novel CDR is critical for post-net-zero CO2 mitigation, but that equitable achievement of this milestone will need to arrive through technical and financial transfers, rather than by substantial carbon removals in developed countries before mid-century.

FachzeitschriftEnvironmental Research Letters
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Juli 2023
Extern publiziertJa

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© 2023 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.