Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage could be used to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, its credibility as a climate change mitigation option is unproven and its widespread deployment in climate stabilization scenarios might become a dangerous distraction.

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This work is a collaborative effort under the MaGNET (Managing Global Negative Emissions Technologies) initiative of the Global Carbon Project (, a joint project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, the International Human Dimension Programme on Global Environmental Change, the World Climate Research Programme and Diversitas. J.G.C. thanks the support of the Australian Climate Change Science Program. C.D.J. was supported by the Joint UK Department of Energy & Climate Change and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme (GA01101). G.P.P. and R.M.A thank the support of the Norwegian Research Council (236296). Y.Y. and A.S. acknowledge that GCP Tsukuba office activities are supported by Center for Global Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies. F.K. acknowledges support from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Tropical Flagship Initiative. M.T. acknowledges the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea under the GEMINA project. C.L.Q. thanks the support of UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NE/103002X/1). R.B.J. acknowledges the US Department of Agriculture (AFRI #2012-00857).

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  1. Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Working Group Resources and International Trade, Torgauer Strasse 12–15, Berlin 10829, Germany

    • Sabine Fuss
  2. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, 2361 Laxenburg, Austria

    • Sabine Fuss
    • , Florian Kraxner
    •  & Nebosja Nakicenovic
  3. CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, GPO Box 3023, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601, Australia

    • Josep G. Canadell
  4. Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), Gaustadalléen 21, 0349 Oslo, Norway

    • Glen P. Peters
    •  & Robbie M. Andrew
  5. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Centro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC) and Politecnico di Milano, Corso Magenta 63, Milan, Italy

    • Massimo Tavoni
  6. Laboratorie des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Centre d'Etudes de Orme des Merisiers - BAT 709, Gif sur Yvette 91191, France

    • Philippe Ciais
  7. Stanford University, School of Earth Sciences, Woods Institute for the Environment, and Precourt Institute for Energy, 473 Vio Ortega, Stanford, California 94305, USA

    • Robert B. Jackson
  8. Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK

    • Chris D. Jones
  9. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

    • Corinne Le Quéré
  10. Climate Change Institute, Fenner School, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia

    • Michael R. Raupach
  11. National Institute for Environmental Studies, Onogawa 16-2, Tsukuba Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan

    • Ayyoob Sharifi
    •  & Yoshiki Yamagata
  12. Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, 23 St Machar Drive, Aberdeen AB24 3UU, UK

    • Pete Smith


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All authors contributed to the planning of the paper. S.F. led the work together with J.G.C. and prepared Fig. 2 including description of the framework benefiting from discussions with all authors. G.P.P., R.M.A. and M.T. prepared Fig. 1 and/or provided the associated analysis. All authors contributed to writing the Commentary, providing comments to the framework and input in terms of numbers and references backing the analysis.

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Correspondence to Sabine Fuss.

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