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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Widespread deployment of technology that sucks CO2 out of the atmosphere will require lots of cross-border cooperation and complex judgements about nations' varying responsibilities, a peer-reviewed analysis in Nature Climate Change finds.

Why it matters: Holding global warming greatly in check will demand various methods such as bioenergy with carbon capture, direct air capture machines, and large-scale forestation.

  • It points to a late 2018 UN scientific review that found holding temperature rise to 1.5 °C — the most ambitious goal of the Paris agreement — means removing CO2, not just slowing and stopping new emissions.
  • "[T]he most plausible and realistic pathways to meet our ambitious climate goals may be through strengthening CDR cooperative actions," it notes.

The big picture: "Building the global partnership needed for an efficient [carbon dioxide removal] CDR solution will not be easy owing to technical, political, regulatory, accounting and social acceptability challenges. However, potential mutual benefits are large," the authors write.

What they did: The paper considers technical constraints — including nations' differing "biophysical limits" — and broader questions around equity and responsibility to enable the scale-up of CDR.

They created a global model for assigning nations CO2 removal "quotas" under "responsibility, capability and equality" principles.

  • Responsibility is linked to a nation's historical emissions.
  • Capability addresses financial resources and "implies wealthier countries are assigned a greater share" of CDR efforts.
  • Equality, meanwhile, is more tethered to population.

What they found: The allocation for different regions, and even nations within those regions, varies — sometimes vastly — depending on which of those frameworks you apply.

  • OECD countries would have 38% of the cumulative quotas by 2100 under the "responsibility" filter, 54% under "capability," but only 11% based on "equality."
  • By 2100 Asia (including India) would have 7% under the "capability" filter, but 43% under the "equality" method of cumulative allotment.
  • The United States' quota is roughly twice as high under "responsibility" as it is under "capability."

What they're saying: "We were not aware of a similar analysis and we hope that it can open a necessary conversation on these difficult questions of equity and responsibility," co-author David Reiner, who's with the Energy Policy Research Group at the University of Cambridge, tells me.

  • He says, referring to the different filters applied, that there's no "right answer," and that the study is intended as a first step.

What's next: "One of the main takeaways from this preliminary analysis is that cooperation will be critical for successful deployment of CDR and so we are keen to further extend our analysis by exploring different mechanisms for cooperation," Reiner said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

5 mins ago - World

German election: Exit polls show close race to succeed Angela Merkel

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BERLIN — The first exit poll from Sunday's German elections shows the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in a dead heat at 25%, leaving the race to succeed Angela Merkel in the balance.

The state of play: A second exit poll showed the SPD narrowly ahead, and that's the one they displayed at SPD campaign headquarters, causing the room to erupt in cheers. Official results will roll in throughout the evening.

Abbott says he'll hire Border Patrol agents who whipped at migrants

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Sunday defended the actions of U.S. Border Patrol agents who charged at Haitian migrants on horseback, blaming the Biden administration for not preventing them from crossing the border.

Why it matters: Abbott's remark on "Fox News Sunday" comes amid increased backlash over the incident, with President Biden saying, "I promise... those people will pay,” and the Department of Homeland Security launching an investigation.

Everyone wants to be an influencer

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The number of people looking to become online influencers has exploded during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Almost anyone can find themselves in a position to become an influencer, and brands are throwing billions of dollars at online content creators.