Carbon Sinks and Climate Change

Carbon Sinks and Climate Change

Forests in the Fight Against Global Warming

Advances in Ecological Economics series

Colin A.G. Hunt

Reforestation and avoiding deforestation are ways of harnessing nature to tackle global warming – the greatest challenge facing humankind. In this book, Colin Hunt deals comprehensively with the present and future role of forests in climate change policy and practice. A review of the workings of carbon markets, both based on the Kyoto Protocol and voluntary participation, provides a base from which to explore forestry’s role. Emphasis is on acknowledging how forests’ idiosyncrasies affect the design of markets for sequestered carbon. Chapters range from the role of forests in providing biofuels and biodiversity, to measuring and valuing their stored carbon.

Preface

Colin A.G. Hunt

Subjects: environment, climate change, ecological economics, environmental geography, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy

Extract

Nothing pleases me more than to look down on a primary tropical rainforest, the greenness interrupted here and there by a tree in flower, the canopy punctuated by great emergents and knowing that the whole teems with life. It is also satisfying to look across the landscape to where a dark line of a thriving plantation provides a contrast to the grassland in the foreground. While one can romanticize about forests, I have set out to be realistic in assessing their role in augmenting and complementing the deep cuts that need to be made in the burning of fossil fuels. This book took some 14 months to write, but its gestation was much longer. As a boy, biking to school in London, I was concerned about the impacts of exhausts from factories and vehicles, and in an early physics lesson I saw how heat rays were trapped by carbon dioxide. I was only partly reassured by the knowledge that trees were splitting carbon dioxide molecules and incorporating the carbon: how effective would forests be against the inexorable increase in emissions? During my work in agricultural development I became acquainted with diverse forests in many countries. On my journey to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), to work as a soil and water conservation officer, I marveled at the endless savannahs of southern Africa. Later, I visited the vast tropical rainforests of Indonesia, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, but I also saw their destruction first hand. Later still, I achieved an...