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A proposed global layout of carbon capture and storage in line with a 2 °C climate target


A straightforward global layout of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is imperative for limiting global warming well below 2 °C. Here, we propose a cost-effective strategy for matching carbon sources and sinks on a global scale. Results show 3,093 carbon clusters and 432 sinks in 85 countries and regions are selected to achieve 92 GtCO2 mitigation by CCUS, 64% of which will be sequestered into sedimentary basins for aquifer storage and 36% will be used for CO2-EOR (enhanced oil recovery). Of the identified source–sink matching, 80% are distributed within 300 km and are mainly located in China, the United States, the European Union, Russia and India. The total cost is ~0.12% of global cumulative gross domestic product. Of countries with CO2-EOR, 75% will turn into profitable at the oil price over US$100 per barrel. These findings indicate our proposed layout is economically feasible. However, its implementation requires global collaboration on financial and technological transfer.

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Fig. 1: Spatial orientation of the worldwide carbon emission clusters considered in this study.
Fig. 2: The global distribution of the effective CO2 storage potential of different basins.
Fig. 3: Transport amount and transport distance of the global cost-effective CCUS layout.
Fig. 4: Optimized matching of the carbon emission clusters to the sinks until 2050 in eight countries and regions.
Fig. 5: The economic performance of the cost-effective CCUS layout proposal across the world.

Data availability

The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Code availability

The codes that support the methods of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of China’s National Key R&D Program (grant no. 2016YFA0602603), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 71622012, 71822401, 71521002 and 72073014) and the Beijing Natural Science Foundation (grant no. JQ19035). We thank our colleagues for their support and acknowledge help from CEEP-BIT.

Author information




Y.-M.W., L.-C.L. and B.Y. conceived the study and performed the analysis. J.-N.K. and P.W. analysed the data and implemented the model. Q.L. and J.-J.H. contributed to the data collection and processing. S.-F.H. contributed to preparing the figures. Q.-M.L. and H.L. worked on the review and editing. All authors approved and contributed to writing the paper.

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Correspondence to Yi-Ming Wei or Lan-Cui Liu or Biying Yu.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Peer review information Nature Climate Change thanks Richard Middleton and Ning Wei for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figs. 1–3, Tables 1–7 and Note 1.

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Wei, YM., Kang, JN., Liu, LC. et al. A proposed global layout of carbon capture and storage in line with a 2 °C climate target. Nat. Clim. Chang. 11, 112–118 (2021).

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