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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


An Analysis of Forestry Carbon Sequestration as a Response to Climate Change

Terrestrial ecosystems store approximately 1 trillion tons of CO2 in the biomass of living trees and plants. Current estimates suggest that it would be possible to increase this carbon efficiently in order to reduce the future damages of climate change. The methods that could be used include afforestation (planting old agricultural land in trees), reduced deforestation, and forest management. Current estimates in the literature accounting for opportunity costs and implementation and management costs suggest that an additional 6.8 billion tons CO2 per year may be sequestered in forests by 2030 for $30 per ton CO2. Around 42% of this would arise from avoided deforestation, with the rest roughly equally split between afforestation and forest management options.

Publication type: 
Policy brief
Date published: 
Tuesday, September 1, 2009