The Effectiveness of Forest Carbon Sequestration Strategies with System-Wide Adjustments

By Brent Sohngen, Robert Mendelsohn, and Roger Sedjo

This paper addresses the effectiveness of tree planting and forest conservation strategies to increase the sink of carbon in global forests. Because forests are expected to sequester additional carbon without explicit human intervention, a baseline case is presented. The baseline predicts that forests will sequester an additional 17.9 Pg (1015 grams) of carbon over the next 150 years, with nearly 95% of this accruing to storage in marketed forest products. The paper then compares strategies which assume markets adjust to changes in future timber supply to an optimistic regional planner case in which no market adjustment occurs. The resulting predictions show that system wide market interactions may lead to substantial leakage of carbon from the forest system.

Publication type: 
Working paper
Date published: 
Wednesday, May 13, 1998