Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Land-use emissions play a critical role in land-based mitigation for Paris climate targets

Abstract : Scenarios that limit global warming to below 2 °C by 2100 assume significant land-use change to support large-scale carbon dioxide (CO$_2$) removal from the atmosphere by afforestation/reforestation, avoided deforestation, and Biomass Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). The more ambitious mitigation scenarios require even greater land area for mitigation and/or earlier adoption of CO$_2$ removal strategies. Here we show that additional land-use change to meet a 1.5 °C climate change target could result in net losses of carbon from the land. The effectiveness of BECCS strongly depends on several assumptions related to the choice of biomass, the fate of initial above ground biomass, and the fossil-fuel emissions offset in the energy system. Depending on these factors, carbon removed from the atmosphere through BECCS could easily be offset by losses due to land-use change. If BECCS involves replacing high-carbon content ecosystems with crops, then forest-based mitigation could be more efficient for atmospheric CO$_2$ removal than BECCS.
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [74 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Bruno Savelli Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 3:38:57 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 3:44:08 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, December 4, 2020 - 5:13:13 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive



Anna Harper, Tom Powell, Peter Cox, Joanna House, Chris Huntingford, et al.. Land-use emissions play a critical role in land-based mitigation for Paris climate targets. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2018, 9, pp.2938. ⟨10.1038/s41467-018-05340-z⟩. ⟨cea-01880053⟩



Record views


Files downloads