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Rightsizing carbon dioxide removal

All Authors: 
Christopher Field, Katharine Mach
May 18, 2017

In order to reach the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, some amount of carbon dioxide removal or "negative emissions" will be necessary. However, models generating possible trajectories of climate change mitigation assume global-scale carbon removal to occur in the coming decades. Though some carbon removal techniques such as reforestation and ecosystem restoration are well understood, many technologies are immature and the feasibility of massive-scale deployment remains a question. In a perspective in the journal Science, Stanford scientists explain the risks of betting the world’s future on massive-scale deployment of carbon removal technologies which could require a tremendous amount of productive landuse and cause competing interests between food security and climate change response efforts. The researchers argue that a diversified approach is needed to address these risks. See links to the perspective, news release and media coverage below.