Optimal Forest Carbon Sequestration

American Journal of Agricultural Economics - Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

By Brent Sohngen and Robert Mendelsohn

This study develops an optimal control model of carbon sequestration and energy abatement to explore the potential role of forests in greenhouse gas mitigation. The article shows that if carbon accumulates in the atmosphere, the rental price for carbon sequestration should rise over time. From an empirical model, we find that carbon sequestration is costly, but that landowners can sequester substantial amounts of carbon in forests mainly by increasing forestland and lengthening rotations. Forest sequestration is predicted to account for about one-third of total carbon abatement. Tropical forests store over two-thirds of this added carbon.


Publication type: 
Journal article
Date published: 
Friday, May 2, 2003