Climate-change mitigation

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Solar and wind resources are dependent on geophysical constraints. Here the authors find that solar and wind power resources can satisfy countries’ electricity demand of between 72–91% of hours, but hundreds of hours of unmet demand may occur annually.

    • Dan Tong
    • , David J. Farnham
    •  & Steven J. Davis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Building construction causes large material-related emissions which present a serious decarbonization challenge. Here, the authors show that the building material sector could halve emissions by increasing efficiency until 2060 but even then its emissions would be twice as high as needed to meet the 1.5 °C target.

    • Xiaoyang Zhong
    • , Mingming Hu
    •  & Paul Behrens
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite global initiatives to reach net-zero CO2 emissions, the tradeoffs of energy systems to reach that goal remain understudied. Here the authors analyze all net-zero scenarios used for the 2018 IPCC report and quantify the role of renewable energy, fuels, and emissions in attaining a zero CO2 world.

    • Julianne DeAngelo
    • , Inês Azevedo
    •  & Steven J. Davis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The intergenerational distribution of costs and benefits of climate change mitigation is not well understood. Here the authors analyze lifetime costs and benefits of climate change mitigation by age cohorts across countries under the Paris Agreement.

    • Haozhe Yang
    •  & Sangwon Suh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Methane emissions from oil and gas systems are underestimated in official inventories. Here the authors synthesize thousands of field measurements and develop an inventory-based model for a better understanding of why this underestimation exists and how it can be fixed.

    • Jeffrey S. Rutherford
    • , Evan D. Sherwin
    •  & Adam R. Brandt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Forests can influence climate by affecting low cloud formation, but where and when this occurs is not well known. Here, the authors provide a global-scale assessment, based on satellite remote sensing observations, suggesting afforestation mostly increases low cloud cover which could potentially cool surface temperatures.

    • Gregory Duveiller
    • , Federico Filipponi
    •  & Alessandro Cescatti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Afforestation is an important greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation strategy but the efficacy of commercial (harvested) forestry is disputed. Here the authors apply dynamic life cycle assessment to show that new commercial conifer forests can achieve up to 269% more GHG mitigation than semi-natural forests, over 100 years.

    • Eilidh J. Forster
    • , John R. Healey
    •  & David Styles
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aviation contributes to climate change and ways to reduce its emissions are widely debated. Here, the authors assess the effects of technology improvements and the use of sustainable aviation fuels and find that even when these are considered aviation is unlikely to meet emissions goals in line with the Paris Agreement.

    • Volker Grewe
    • , Arvind Gangoli Rao
    •  & Katrin Dahlmann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Benefit-cost analyses of climate policies have generated conflicting assessments; as social welfare is affected by regional heterogeneity. Here the authors show that economically optimal pathways are consistent with climate stabilization but are characterized by persistent economic inequalities due to climate damages.

    • Paolo Gazzotti
    • , Johannes Emmerling
    •  & Massimo Tavoni
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate change is likely to damage economies worldwide. Here the authors show that this strongly reduces incentives to invest causing additional losses, whereas if investors include climate-change mitigation in their action portfolio they can avoid damages for themselves and the global economy.

    • Sven N. Willner
    • , Nicole Glanemann
    •  & Anders Levermann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    China has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality in 2060. Here the authors find a promising option to abate 1.0 Gt CO2-eq yr1 of carbon emissions at a marginal cost of $69 (t CO2-eq)−1 by retrofitting 222 GW of coal power plants to co-fire with biomass and upgrading to CCS operation across 2836 counties in China.

    • Xiaofan Xing
    • , Rong Wang
    •  & Siqing Xu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Do we mitigate climate change in a Kyoto style global agreement or via multiple agreements among smaller groups of states? Here the authors show that the best strategy may begin with regional legally binding, aggressive agreements and, as these become common, renew pursuit of a global legally-binding treaty.

    • Vadim A. Karatayev
    • , Vítor V. Vasconcelos
    •  & Madhur Anand
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) was phased-out under the Montreal, but renewed emissions of CFC-11 have been reported recently. Here, the authors present a joint analysis of multiple factors and find that emissions of CFC-11, but also CFC-12 and CFC-113 are higher than expected, indicating renewed emissions.

    • Megan Lickley
    • , Sarah Fletcher
    •  & Susan Solomon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Quantifying land use change is critical in tackling global challenges related to food, climate and biodiversity. Here the authors show that land use change has affected 32 % of the global land area in six decades (1960- 2019) by combining multiple open datasets to create the HIstoric Land Dynamics Assessment +.

    • Karina Winkler
    • , Richard Fuchs
    •  & Martin Herold
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Established climate mitigation modelling relies on controversial negative emissions and unprecedented technological change, but neglects to consider degrowth scenarios. Here the authors show that degrowth scenarios minimize many key risks for feasibility and sustainability and thus need to be thoroughly assessed.

    • Lorenz T. Keyßer
    •  & Manfred Lenzen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ambitious climate policies can negatively impact the global poor by affecting income, food and energy prices. Here, the authors quantify this effect, and show that it can be compensated by national redistribution of the carbon pricing revenues in combination with international climate finance.

    • Bjoern Soergel
    • , Elmar Kriegler
    •  & Alexander Popp
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many trajectories for reaching climate change mitigation targets exaggerate the long-term need for CO2 removal (CDR) because they assume an exponentially increasing carbon price. Here the authors analyse alternative carbon price pathways that halt warming while limiting CDR, and may be easier to implement.

    • Jessica Strefler
    • , Elmar Kriegler
    •  & Ottmar Edenhofer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Over 100 countries have set or are considering net-zero emissions targets. Here, the authors show that a country’s potential for negative emissions and methodological issues affect when countries can reach net-zero, calling for clear internationally agreed definitions and accounting methods.

    • Heleen L. van Soest
    • , Michel G. J. den Elzen
    •  & Detlef P. van Vuuren
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The growing energy consumption and carbon emissions of Bitcoin mining could potentially undermine global sustainability efforts. Here, the authors show the annual energy consumption of the Bitcoin blockchain in China is expected to peak in 2024 at 296.59 Twh and generate 130.50 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

    • Shangrong Jiang
    • , Yuze Li
    •  & Shouyang Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    BIPP with biochar sequestration is a ready-to-implement negative emission technology in China. Here, the authors show that its national deployment could contribute to a 61% reduction of carbon emissions per GDP in 2030 compared to 2005, and contribute 13–31% of the global biomass-based negative emission goal by 2050.

    • Qing Yang
    • , Hewen Zhou
    •  & Michael B. McElroy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A key strategy for meeting China’s 2060 carbon neutrality goal and the global 1.5 °C climate goal is to rapidly shift away from unabated coal use. Here, the authors detail how to structure a high-ambition, plant-by-plant coal phaseout in China while balancing multiple national needs.

    • Ryna Yiyun Cui
    • , Nathan Hultman
    •  & Mengye Zhu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Investing in forest protection is a way to generate tradable carbon credits to support biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. Here the authors assess and map the global supply of tropical forest carbon credits with the goal of informing climate policy and investments.

    • Lian Pin Koh
    • , Yiwen Zeng
    •  & Kelly Siman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The long-term effectiveness of assisted gene flow of trees could be jeopardised by rapid climate change. Here the authors analyse a large dataset of relocated black spruce populations in Canada, finding that local adaptation to climate of origin improved NPP responses, but only for up to ~15 years after planting.

    • Martin P. Girardin
    • , Nathalie Isabel
    •  & Patrick Lenz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many cities in the US self-report greenhouse gas emissions. Here, the authors find that US cities under-report their own greenhouse gas emissions, on average, by 18.3% because city inventories omit some fuels and source types and estimate transportation emissions differently.

    • Kevin Robert Gurney
    • , Jianming Liang
    •  & Thomas Lauvaux
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The regulation of aircraft engine NOx emissions was introduced to improve local air quality and reduce NOx emissions at altitude. Here, the authors find that greater fuel efficiency of aircrafts, and therefore lower CO2 emissions, could be preferable to reducing NOx emissions in terms of the aviation industries future climate impacts.

    • Agnieszka Skowron
    • , David S. Lee
    •  & Bethan Owen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Governments may struggle to impose costly polices on vital industries, resulting in a greater need for negative emissions. Here, the authors model a direct air capture crash deployment program, finding it can remove 2.3 GtCO2 yr–1 in 2050, 13–20 GtCO2 yr–1 in 2075, and 570–840 GtCO2 cumulative over 2025–2100.

    • Ryan Hanna
    • , Ahmed Abdulla
    •  & David G. Victor
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Global energy transformation requires quantifying the "price of energy" and studying its evolution. Here the authors present a predictive framework that calculates the average US price of energy, estimating future energy demands for up to four years with excellent accuracy, designing and optimizing energy and monetary policies.

    • Stefanos G. Baratsas
    • , Alexander M. Niziolek
    •  & Efstratios N. Pistikopoulos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Forests are critical for stabilizing our climate, but costs of mitigation remain uncertain. Here the authors show the global forest sector could reduce emissions by 6.0 GtCOyr−1 in 2055, or roughly 10% of the mitigation needed to limit warming to 1.5 °C by mid-century, at a cost of 393 billion USD yr−1, or $281/tCO2.

    • K. G. Austin
    • , J. S. Baker
    •  & A. Bean
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Terms such as ‘climate change’ and ‘climate crisis’ need to be evaluated for their effectiveness for public perception. In this study of a sample of the Taiwanese public reactions to the terms were largely the same, however, in specific subgroups the term ‘climate crisis’ faced some backlash.

    • Li-San Hung
    •  & Mucahid Mustafa Bayrak
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Climate action from local actors is vital in achieving nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement. Here the authors show that existing commitments from U.S. states, cities and business could reduce emissions 25% below 2005 levels by 2030, with expanded subnational action reducing emissions by 37% and federal action by up to 49%.

    • Nathan E. Hultman
    • , Leon Clarke
    •  & John O’Neill
  • Article
    | Open Access

    China issued the Dual Credit policy to improve vehicle efficiency and accelerate new energy vehicle adoption. Here the authors show that the total Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) of the Chinese passenger vehicle fleet are expected to peak in 2032 and a significant reduction in GHG emissions is possible by optimizing the Dual Credit policy.

    • Xin He
    • , Shiqi Ou
    •  & Michael Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    As low-carbon energy technologies advance, markets are driving demand for energy transition metals, increasing the stress placed on people and the environment in extractive locations. Here, the authors quantify this stress by developing a set of global composite environmental, social and governance risk indicators, and find that 84% of platinum resources and 70% of cobalt resources are located in high-risk contexts.

    • Éléonore Lèbre
    • , Martin Stringer
    •  & Rick K. Valenta
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In the light of nine Earth System Processes (ESPs) and the corresponding planetary boundaries, here the authors assessed the global environmental impact of a global carbon pricing in a multi-boundary world. They show that a global carbon tax would relieve pressure on most ESPs and it is therefore stronger in a multi-boundary world than when considering climate change in isolation.

    • Gustav Engström
    • , Johan Gars
    •  & Badri Narayanan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cement plays a dual role in the carbon cycle like a sponge. Here, the authors employ a dynamic model to quantify such sponge effect and concluded that deep decarbonization of the global cement cycle will require radical technology advancements and widespread deployment of material efficiency measures.

    • Zhi Cao
    • , Rupert J. Myers
    •  & Gang Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Strong mitigation of anthropogenic emissions is necessary, but it is not clear how fast these efforts would lead to temperature changes. Here, the authors find that there is a substantial delay between reductions of emissions and a detectable change in surface temperature for a number of climate forcers.

    • B. H. Samset
    • , J. S. Fuglestvedt
    •  & M. T. Lund
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To remove CO2 from the atmosphere every year by mid-century will need new technologies. Here the authors proposed the use of magnesia (MgO) in ambient looping processes to remove CO2 from the air and they found that the proposed approach will cost $46–195 tCO2−1 net removed from the atmosphere considering both grid and solar electricity resources without including post-processing costs.

    • Noah McQueen
    • , Peter Kelemen
    •  & Jennifer Wilcox
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    Current environmental impact mitigation neglects over-consumption from affluent citizens as a primary driver. The authors highlight the role of bottom-up movements to overcome structural economic growth imperatives spurring consumption by changing structures and culture towards safe and just systems.

    • Thomas Wiedmann
    • , Manfred Lenzen
    •  & Julia K. Steinberger
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The decrease in costs of renewable energy and storage has not been well accounted for in energy modelling, which however will have a large effect on energy system investment and policies. Here the authors incorporated recent decrease in costs of renewable energy and storages to refine the pathways to decarbonize China’s power system by 2030 and show that if such cost trends for renewables continue, more than 60% of China’s electricity could come from non-fossil sources by 2030 at a cost that is about 10% lower than achieved through a business-as-usual approach.

    • Gang He
    • , Jiang Lin
    •  & Amol Phadke
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic can lead to the release of vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost soils. Here the authors show that stratospheric sulfate aerosol injection geoengineering can help to avoid about 14 gigatons of carbon release and US$8.4 trillion in economic losses by 2070 compared to RCP4.5 emissions.

    • Yating Chen
    • , Aobo Liu
    •  & John C. Moore
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There lacks a European cost-benefit analysis of possible protective measures against rising seas. Here the authors used a probabilistic data and modeling framework to estimate costs and benefits of coastal protection measures and found that at least 83% of flood damages could be avoided by dyke improvements along a third of the European coastline.

    • Michalis I. Vousdoukas
    • , Lorenzo Mentaschi
    •  & Luc Feyen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To evaluate the effectiveness of current national policies in achieving global temperature targets is important but a systematic multi-model evaluation is still lacking. Here the authors identified a reduction of 3.5 GtCO2 eq of current national policies relative to a baseline scenario without climate policies by 2030 due to the increasing low carbon share of final energy and the improving final energy intensity.

    • Mark Roelfsema
    • , Heleen L. van Soest
    •  & Saritha Sudharmma Vishwanathan