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Betting on negative emissions

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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Figure 1: Carbon dioxide emission pathways until 2100 and the extent of net negative emissions and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) in 2100.
Figure 2


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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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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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Fuss, S., Canadell, J., Peters, G. et al. Betting on negative emissions. Nature Clim Change 4, 850–853 (2014).

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