Prütz, R., Strefler, J., Rogelj, J., Fuss, S.

Understanding the carbon dioxide removal range in 1.5 °C compatible and high overshoot pathways

in Environmental Research Communications, 26.04.2023

Peer Review , Sustainable Resource Management and Global Change

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) features prominently in the 1.5 °C compatible and high overshoot pathways in the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report (AR6, WGIII). However, the amount of CDR varies considerably among scenarios. We analyze the range in CDR volumes in AR6 WGIII pathways by exploring relationships between variables as potential driving forces, focusing on CDR in 2050 and scenario properties linked to reaching net-zero CO2. It is also shown how the relative and absolute contribution of CDR to total mitigation up until reaching net-zero CO2 substantially differs across scenarios. The volumes of CDR in 2050 and 2100 and the cumulative amount throughout the 21st century were most strongly correlated to the degree to which CO2 emissions are reduced as a means of reaching net-zero CO2. CDR in 2050 is also substantially correlated to the timing of net-zero CO2. The robustness of the analyzed relationships was evaluated by comparing different scenario filtering and data-cleaning approaches. Beyond filtering and cleaning, additional factors that influence CDR deployment in scenarios, such as discount rates, carbon price trajectories, and scenario design choices, were discussed.