Cost and attainability of meeting stringent climate targets without overshoot

Keywan Riahi*, Christoph Bertram, Daniel Huppmann, Joeri Rogelj, Valentina Bosetti, Anique Marie Cabardos, Andre Deppermann, Laurent Drouet, Stefan Frank, Oliver Fricko, Shinichiro Fujimori, Mathijs Harmsen, Tomoko Hasegawa, Volker Krey, Gunnar Luderer, Leonidas Paroussos, Roberto Schaeffer, Matthias Weitzel, Bob van der Zwaan, Zoi VrontisiFrancesco Dalla Longa, Jacques Després, Florian Fosse, Kostas Fragkiadakis, Mykola Gusti, Florian Humpenöder, Kimon Keramidas, Paul Kishimoto, Elmar Kriegler, Malte Meinshausen, Larissa P. Nogueira, Ken Oshiro, Alexander Popp, Pedro R.R. Rochedo, Gamze Ünlü, Bas van Ruijven, Junya Takakura, Massimo Tavoni, Detlef van Vuuren, Behnam Zakeri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Global emissions scenarios play a critical role in the assessment of strategies to mitigate climate change. The current scenarios, however, are criticized because they feature strategies with pronounced overshoot of the global temperature goal, requiring a long-term repair phase to draw temperatures down again through net-negative emissions. Some impacts might not be reversible. Hence, we explore a new set of net-zero CO2 emissions scenarios with limited overshoot. We show that upfront investments are needed in the near term for limiting temperature overshoot but that these would bring long-term economic gains. Our study further identifies alternative configurations of net-zero CO2 emissions systems and the roles of different sectors and regions for balancing sources and sinks. Even without net-negative emissions, CO2 removal is important for accelerating near-term reductions and for providing an anthropogenic sink that can offset the residual emissions in sectors that are hard to abate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1069
Number of pages7
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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