Land-Management Options for Greenhouse Gas Removal and Their Impacts on Ecosystem Services and the Sustainable Development Goals

Pete Smith, Justin Adams, David J. Beerling, Tim Beringer, Katherine V. Calvin, Sabine Fuss, Bronson Griscom, Nikolas Hagemann, Claudia Kammann, Florian Kraxner, Jan C. Minx, Alexander Popp, Phil Renforth, Jose Luis Vicente Vicente, Saskia Keesstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Citations (Scopus)


Land-management options for greenhouse gas removal (GGR) include afforestation or reforestation (AR), wetland restoration, soil carbon sequestration (SCS), biochar, terrestrial enhanced weathering (TEW), and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). We assess the opportunities and risks associated with these options through the lens of their potential impacts on ecosystem services (Nature's Contributions to People; NCPs) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We find that all land-based GGR options contribute positively to at least some NCPs and SDGs. Wetland restoration and SCS almost exclusively deliver positive impacts. A few GGR options, such as afforestation, BECCS, and biochar potentially impact negatively some NCPs and SDGs, particularly when implemented at scale, largely through competition for land. For those that present risks or are least understood, more research is required, and demonstration projects need to proceed with caution. For options that present low risks and provide cobenefits, implementation can proceed more rapidly following no-regrets principles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-286
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
Early online date11 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • afforestation/reforestation
  • biochar
  • bioenergy with carbon capture and storage
  • carbon dioxide removal
  • CDR
  • ecosystem services
  • greenhouse gas removal
  • Nature's Contributions to People
  • NCPs
  • negative emission technology
  • NET
  • SDG
  • soil carbon sequestration
  • terrestrial enhanced weathering
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • wetland restoration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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