The role of carbon dioxide removal in climate action

A recent paper by Harry Smith, Dr Nem Vaughan, and Dr Johanna Forster, highlights the risks of countries relying on nature-based solutions to achieve net-zero. To date, around 146 countries have set out a net zero target, committing to reducing their emissions across the decades ahead. Some emissions, however, are ‘difficult-to-decarbonise’ and are balanced out by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The study found that once the bulk of the emissions have been reduced, most countries plan to remove the left-over ‘difficult-to-decarbonise’ emissions through forests and soils, which can absorb carbon from the atmosphere. However, this may prove risky because forests and soils are also threatened by a range of impacts, such as fire, disease, changes in farming practices or deforestation. These mean forests and soils could lose their stored carbon back to the atmosphere. So what do countries need to do next?

To talk to us more about the role of carbon dioxide removal in national climate strategies, is the author and co-author of the paper, Harry Smith and Nem Vaughan. Harry Smith is a PhD Researcher on the climate governance of carbon dioxide removal, and part of the Critical Decade for Climate Change Programme with the Leverhulme Trust at UEA. Dr Nem Vaughan is an Associate Professor of Climate Change whose research is focussed on carbon dioxide removal and its role in mitigating climate change.




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