Equity in allocating carbon dioxide removal quotas
The first Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement include none mention of the carbon dioxide removal (CDR) necessary to reach the Paris targets, leaving open the question of how and by whom CDR will be delivered. Drawing on existing equity frameworks, we allocate CDR quotas globally according to Responsibility, Capability and Equality principles. These quotas are then assessed in the European Union context by accounting for domestic national capacity of a portfolio of CDR options including bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, reforestation and direct air capture. We find that quotas vary greatly across countries and principles, from 33 to 325 GtCO2 allocated to the European Union, and, that due to biophysical limits, only a handful of countries could meet them acting individually. Our results call for strengthening cross-border cooperation, while highlighting the need to deploy CDR options with urgency to mitigate the risk of failing to meet the global climate targets.
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