We introduce the carbon takeback obligation (CTBO), a supply-side mitigation policy requiring extractors and importers of fossil fuels to recapture and store a progressively increasing fraction of the CO2 generated by their activities and products, and use a novel integrated assessment model (IAM) emulator to compare this policy to conventional demand-side mitigation policy. A global CTBO is shown to be comparable in cost to similar ambition scenarios dominated by demand-side measures simulated by a global carbon price.

A CTBO combined with demand-side mitigation provides a low risk pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050, ensuring both early emission reductions and rapid scale-up of permanent CO2 storage. It is suggested that effective regulatory supply-side measures such as the CTBO merit serious consideration given that they might be politically more acceptable than the demand-reduction measures favored by most current climate policies.


Jenkins, S., Mitchell-Larson, E., Ives, M.C., Haszeldine, S., and Allen, M., "Upstream decarbonization through a carbon takeback obligation: An affordable backstop climate policy". Joule (2021). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2021.10.012.
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