Residual emissions in long-term national climate strategies show limited climate ambition

Smith, Harry B. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8149-4764, Vaughan, Naomi E. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4532-2084 and Forster, Johanna ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6729-9965 (2024) Residual emissions in long-term national climate strategies show limited climate ambition. One Earth, 7 (5). pp. 867-884. ISSN 2590-3322

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Abstract

Net-zero targets imply a need to compensate for residual emissions through the deployment of carbon dioxide removal methods. Yet the extent of residual emissions within national climate plans, alongside their distribution, is largely unexplored. Here, we analyze 71 long-term national climate strategies to understand how national governments engage with residual emissions. Screening 139 scenarios, we determined that only 26 of the 71 strategies quantify residual emissions. Residual emissions are on average 21% of peak emissions for Annex I countries, ranging from 5% to 52% (excluding land use). For non-Annex I countries, residual emissions are on average 34%. By sector, agriculture represents the largest contributor to total residual emissions (on average, 36% for Annex I countries and 35% for non-Annex I countries). High-residual-emission scenarios show how some countries may retain or expand their fossil fuel production and use, using more carbon dioxide removal or international offsets to achieve net zero.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was funded by Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship Programme DS-2020-028, the Critical Decade for Climate Change.
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 13 - climate action,sdg 15 - life on land ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science
Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA

Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
UEA Research Groups: University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Marine Knowledge Exchange Network
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Global Environmental Justice
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 10 May 2024 09:30
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 16:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/95117
DOI: 10.1016/j.oneear.2024.04.009

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