Assessing the benefits and risks of land-based greenhouse gas removal | 1/15/2018 | Staff
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IIASA researchers collaborated with colleagues at a number of international institutions to assess the benefits and risks associated with six different land-based greenhouse gas removal options in light of their potential impacts on ecosystems services and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Paris Agreement calls for global warming to be limited to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission neutrality to be achieved by the second half of the century. Even before the Agreement came into force, scientific analysis demonstrated the extreme difficulty of achieving these goals by mitigation alone. Research on the subject in fact highlighted that to achieve GHG neutrality, the emissions caused by human activities would have to be balanced by the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere to compensate for the inadequacy of currently planned mitigation measures.

Options - GHG - Removal - Afforestation - Forests

Some existing options for land-based GHG removal include afforestation (establishing new forests) or reforestation (replanting previously forested areas with trees), wetland restoration, soil carbon sequestration, biochar (charcoal used as a soil amendment), terrestrial enhanced weathering (dissolution of minerals to remove CO2 from the atmosphere), and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

IIASA researchers contributed to a study in which the risks associated with these six land-based GHG removal options were assessed in light of their potential impacts on ecosystems services. In this regard, the team specifically looked at impacts in terms of Nature's Contributions to People (NCPs) - among which the most valuable...
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