Some sectors, such as livestock farming and heavy industry, are viewed as particularly hard to decarbonise. This is due, in part, to a perceived lack of cheap technological solutions. Any “residual emissions” from these practices will have to be balanced by removals from the atmosphere, if nations want to claim they have achieved their net-zero goals. 

The new study, published in One Earth, analyses the strategies that nations have submitted to the UN to understand their approach to these emissions, and how they define them. It finds significant uncertainty, with just 26 out of 71 countries with long-term plans having outlined how much they expect to still be emitting by 2050.

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