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How to spend a dwindling greenhouse gas budget

The Paris Agreement is based on emission scenarios that move from a sluggish phase-out of fossil fuels to large-scale late-century negative emissions. Alternative pathways of early deployment of negative emission technologies need to be considered to ensure that climate targets are reached safely and sustainably.

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Fig. 1: Four archetypes of emission pathways leading to a 2 °C warming target with peak emissions in 2020.
Fig. 2: The new archetypes Minimize CDR and No Overshoot are benchmarked against prevailing archetypes Rapid Decarbonization and Late-Century CDR, based on results from our own model calculations presented in the supplementary material.


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The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from the European Research Council Synergy grant ERC-SyG-2013-610028 IMBALANCE-P.

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Correspondence to Michael Obersteiner.

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Obersteiner, M., Bednar, J., Wagner, F. et al. How to spend a dwindling greenhouse gas budget. Nature Clim Change 8, 7–10 (2018).

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