Bringing greenhouse gas removal down to earth: Stakeholder supply chain appraisals reveal complex challenges

Diarmaid Clery, Clair Gough, Naomi Vaughan, Johanna Forster, Irene Lorenzoni, Jason Chilvers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Greenhouse gas removal (GGR) approaches are considered essential in several projections to meet the climate mitigation ambition of the Paris Agreement. Biomass Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) and afforestation are included extensively in mitigation scenarios but there are concerns about the feasibility of these approaches. This was explored with stakeholders from industry, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and policy who were involved in interviews and a one-day participatory workshop. Multicriteria mapping (MCM) methodology was used to appraise the ‘real-world’ feasibility of four specific greenhouse gas removal supply chains at a granular level in the UK context. The MCM analysis shows that afforestation performs better in comparison to three BECCS supply chains, on criteria such as business model, social acceptability, and environmental sustainability. This innovative application of the MCM methodology enables the abstract representations of GGR in integrated assessment models to be explored at a more granular level through a supply chain analysis and thus gain a deeper understanding of the issues facing these approaches. The data gathered allows a wide range of technical, environmental, social and political criteria to be systematically applied in appraising the practical performance of different future implementation options for afforestation and BECCS. If these GGR supply chains are to become a reality on the scale required for 1.5 °C global warming, factors such as global cooperation, land availability, and the longevity of policies and incentives were found to be major challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102369
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Issue numberNovember 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Greenhouse gas removal
  • Multi-criteria mapping
  • Negative emissions
  • Afforestation
  • Expert elicitation

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Energy
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Policy@Manchester


Dive into the research topics of 'Bringing greenhouse gas removal down to earth: Stakeholder supply chain appraisals reveal complex challenges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this