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Global forest carbon sequestration and climate policy design

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2011

STEVEN K. ROSE
Affiliation:
Global Climate Change Research Group, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), 2000 L Street NW, Suite 805, Washington, DC 20036, USA. Email: srose@epri.com
BRENT SOHNGEN
Affiliation:
Department of Agriculture, Environment, and Development Economics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. Email: sohngen.1@osu.edu
Corresponding

Abstract

Global forests could play an important role in mitigating climate change. However, there are significant implementation obstacles to accessing the world's forest carbon sequestration potential. The timing of regional participation and eligibility of sequestration activities are issues. The existing forest carbon supply estimates have made optimistic assumptions about immediate, comprehensive, and global access. They have also assumed no interactions between activities and regions, and over time. We use a global forest and land use model to evaluate these assumptions with more realistic forest carbon policy pathways. We find that an afforestation only policy is fundamentally flawed, accelerated deforestation may be unavoidable, and a delayed comprehensive program could reduce, but not eliminate, near-term accelerated deforestation and eventually produce sequestration equivalent to idealized policies – but with a different sequestration mix than previously estimated by others and thereby different forests. We also find that afforestation and avoided deforestation increase the cost of one another.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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