Climate Change, Agriculture, Forests, and Biofuels

This paper reviews literature on the impacts of climate change and climate change policy on agriculture and forests. The review suggests that the range of results in the impact literature is widening rather than narrowing as more studies are added. To a large degree, however, the range of results appears to depend largely on uncertainty in the climate effects themselves. The climate change policy literature suggests that land use has a critical role to play if society decides to try to stabilize future climate at a low level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This role includes converting substantial land from agriculture into forests, and these changes would also have large impacts on land rental rates. Compared to the large potential impacts of climate policy, the implications of biofuels for carbon emissions are relatively benign.

Publication type: 
Working paper
Date published: 
Sunday, December 7, 2008