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    Alternative carbon price trajectories can avoid excessive carbon removal
    ([London] : Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021) Strefler, Jessica; Kriegler, Elmar; Bauer, Nico; Luderer, Gunnar; Pietzcker, Robert C.; Giannousakis, Anastasis; Edenhofer, Ottmar
    The large majority of climate change mitigation scenarios that hold warming below 2 °C show high deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR), resulting in a peak-and-decline behavior in global temperature. This is driven by the assumption of an exponentially increasing carbon price trajectory which is perceived to be economically optimal for meeting a carbon budget. However, this optimality relies on the assumption that a finite carbon budget associated with a temperature target is filled up steadily over time. The availability of net carbon removals invalidates this assumption and therefore a different carbon price trajectory should be chosen. We show how the optimal carbon price path for remaining well below 2 °C limits CDR demand and analyze requirements for constructing alternatives, which may be easier to implement in reality. We show that warming can be held at well below 2 °C at much lower long-term economic effort and lower CDR deployment and therefore lower risks if carbon prices are high enough in the beginning to ensure target compliance, but increase at a lower rate after carbon neutrality has been reached.
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    Between Scylla and Charybdis: Delayed mitigation narrows the passage between large-scale CDR and high costs
    (Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2018) Strefler, Jessica; Bauer, Nico; Kriegler, Elmar; Popp, Alexander; Giannousakis, Anastasis; Edenhofer, Ottmar
    There are major concerns about the sustainability of large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies. It is therefore an urgent question to what extent CDR will be needed to implement the long term ambition of the Paris Agreement. Here we show that ambitious near term mitigation significantly decreases CDR requirements to keep the Paris climate targets within reach. Following the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) until 2030 makes 2 °C unachievable without CDR. Reducing 2030 emissions by 20% below NDC levels alleviates the trade-off between high transitional challenges and high CDR deployment. Nevertheless, transitional challenges increase significantly if CDR is constrained to less than 5 Gt CO2 a−1 in any year. At least 8 Gt CO2 a−1 CDR are necessary in the long term to achieve 1.5 °C and more than 15 Gt CO2 a−1 to keep transitional challenges in bounds.