Enciclopédia da Energia Natural   CPMA.COMUNIDADES.NET
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Enciclopédia da Energia Natural CPMA.COMUNIDADES.NET

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and others use economic models
of global land use to estimate the potential contribution of
avoided deforestation activities to reduce GHG emissions at
the global scale. Avoided deforestation is the most significant
component of the REDD policies described above. The models
capture relative land rents that determine the extensive margin
and how carbon incentives change the relative land rents and
the extensive margin from agriculture toward forests. The
models used are both global in scale and intertemporal,
which are essential features of the policy problem as effects of
actions to thwart deforestation are distributed differently
across regions and over time.
The Kinderman study produced global and regional carbon
supply functions as illustrated in Figure 5. They found that
avoided deforestation could produce a 10% reduction in
global deforestation levels from 2005 to 2030, at a cost
of $0.4\u2013$1.7 billion per year. More aggressive deforestation
reduction targets (50% reduction from 2005 to 2030) would
cost between $17.2 and $28.0 billion per year. The study,
focused primarily in the tropics, finds that the most cost-effec-
tive reductions are likely to be found in Africa, followed by
Latin America, then Southeast Asia.
The authors assert that these costs, though high in absolute
terms, are low relative to the costs of emission reductions
from the energy, industrial, and transportation sectors
that tend to be the primary focus of mitigation policy. This
suggests that avoiding deforestation can be an effective com-
ponent of a broad mitigation portfolio. However, there are a
number of implementation hurdles to consider, as discussed
Critical Implementation Issues
Several features must be considered in applying the principals
established above on the ground. Three key issues are outlined
Payment Mechanisms
The focus of the article has been on the supply dynamics when
sequestered carbon has a price. This begs the question of who is
willing to pay the price for other parties to sequester carbon.
Three types of payment schemes are considered:
\u2022 Government programs. Sovereign entities such as local, state,
or federal governments disburse payments to the land-
holders for their actions. The payments could originate
from the host country, as might be the case where carbon
is sequestered in a more developed country or could be
financed by a foreign entity, as might be expected if the
host country were a less developed country. These pay-
ments may or may not be tied to compliance obligations.
\u2022 Compliance market. The buyers of the sequestered carbon are
entities faced with a compliance obligation to reduce
GHGs. The buyers could be a government (see above) or a
private entity engaged in an emissions trading scheme. It is
possible that forests, agriculture, and other land uses are
themselves subject to binding carbon obligations, for in-
stance, in the emissions trading program of New Zealand.
However, it is more common that forests participate in
these markets as suppliers of \u2018offset\u2019 credits that entities in
other sectors facing a compliance cap (e.g., energy or
manufacturing) can buy to help meet their obligations in
lieu of further emission reductions in their own facility.
This is currently the type of system in which AR projects
under the UNFCCC\u2019s CDM operate.
\u2022 Voluntary market. Buyers in the voluntary market are not
legally mandated to reduce emissions, but do so as an ex-
pression of stewardship, corporate or civic responsibility, or
goodwill. They may also do so as a precompliance activity
under the expectation that their early action may have ben-
efits should compliance obligations arise in the future. These
buyers could be businesses, nongovernmental organizations
NGOs, faith groups, or other private organizations
Pay for performance (tons) or pay for practices?
Another key element of the payment scheme is whether the
payments are levied on a per ton sequestered (emission
avoided) basis or on a per practice basis. The theory, policies,
and empirical examples above are all premised on per ton
payments, especially if they are linked with an emissions trad-
ing system that trades in tons of GHG. However, other land-
based payments for environmental (ecosystem) services (PES)
are sometimes done on a per practice basis \u2013 for example, pay
landowners to undertake conservation tillage, or to put in a
riparian buffer system without explicitly measuring the output
(soil loss, nutrients retained, etc.). The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (USEPA) study of GHG mitigation in for-
estry and agriculture referenced above shows that when mea-
sured in terms of GHG targets, performance (ton) payments
can be substantially more efficient than practice payments
0 1 2
Billions of tCO2 per year in 2020
South and Central America Africa
Southeast Asia Total
Figure 5 Global GHG mitigation potential from avoided deforestation in
2020 by region. Source data: Kinderman et al. (2008); three model
average. Reproduced from Murray BC, Lubowski R, Sohngen B (2009)
Including reduced emissions from international forest carbon in climate
policy: Understanding the economics. Report NI-R-09-03. Nicholas
Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University.
46 Climate Change and Policy | Economics of Forest Carbon Sequestration as a Climate Change Mitigation Strategy
in terms of the sequestration obtained per amount spent.
Kurkalova, Kling, and Zhao do show that when multiple envi-
ronmental benefits are being generated, there may be positive
complementarities in paying for practices with multiple envi-
ronmental outcomes (e.g., carbon, nutrient retention, and
habitat) rather than paying for the performance of individual
outcomes that may be in conflict.
One unique feature of forest carbon sequestration as a GHG
mitigation activity is the possibility of impermanence, whereby
the stored carbon is subsequently disturbed either though nat-
ural means such as fire and wind or anthropogenic means such
as harvesting. These disturbances cause the stored carbon to be
released back into the atmosphere, thus providing only a tem-
porary climate mitigation benefit. This impermanence problem
is commonly termed a reversal, which may require modification
of GHGpayment schemes tomaintain a system\u2019s environmental
integrity, especially if the payment schemes are tied to the com-
pliance obligation systems referenced in the previous paragraph.
Institutional Requirements
To make a forest carbon policy work on the ground, infrastruc-
ture (technological, legal, and other) must be in place to ensure
that sequestration and emission reductions are properly quan-
tified and monitored, that buyers and sellers can find each
other, that the rights to compensation are properly established,
and that compensation flows through the appropriate chan-
nels. These systems cost money to be implemented and such
transaction costs are an important consideration in creating a
successful compensation mechanism. The more elements that
can be put in place to minimize these costs, while holding true
to the fundamental reasons for the requirements, the more
likely the program can succeed rather than having implemen-
tation costs exceed the underlying benefits.
Further Reading
Angelsen A (ed.) (2009) Realising REDDþ: National Strategy and Policy Options.
Bogor: Center for International Forestry Research (COFOR).
Beach R, Adams D, Alig R, et al. (2010) Model Documentation for the Forest and
Agricultural Sector Optimization Model with Greenhouse Gases (FASOMGHG).