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The role of carbon dioxide removal in net-zero emissions pledges

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Abstract: A number of countries – including major economies such as the UK, Canada, France, China, and Japan – have announced net-zero emissions pledges generally consistent with the IPCC's guidelines for 1.5 °C. As countries design strategies to achieve these pledges, decision-makers are faced with questions and issues related to the role of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). This perspective highlights three issues. First, the scale of CDR deployment will determine the level of emission mitigation in the energy system and vice versa. Second, CDR will interact with societal priorities beyond climate. Finally, the location of CDR could have implications for the country-level pledges, and emissions trading. While these issues have been discussed in the literature in other contexts, this perspective highlights their importance for net-zero emissions strategies.

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