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.

Chapter 7: Forestry in the Climate Change Policies of Selected Developed Countries

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


This chapter reviews the national policies that have been adopted by developed countries for the mitigation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the role of forestry within those policies. Climate change policy is dynamic, and discussions are well underway on the international framework that will replace the Kyoto Protocol, post-2012. While land-use change and forestry (LUCF) are mechanisms for flexibility that are likely to be built into a new protocol, their effectiveness is also dependent on the policies adopted by those countries agreeing to GHG emission cuts. Cap and trade schemes, rather than tax policies, have emerged as the preferred vehicle for curbing emissions in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The restriction on allowances to emit GHGs under cap and trade schemes puts a price on the allowances.22 The deeper the cuts required by the caps, the higher the prices of allowances and the greater the demand for offsets from forestry projects that sequester carbon. Very few countries have announced medium-term targets for emissions or detailed schemes for achieving them. This chapter examines climate change policies in selected developed countries and regions where caps on emissions have been adopted or policies are at a sufficient stage of development to enable the potential role of forestry to be reviewed; these are the Kyoto Protocol’s Annex I countries, the US, Australia, New Zealand and the EU. The chapter then examines policies that are in place that cover the execution of forestry projects by developed countries in developing countries. Finally the chapter...

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