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Carbon Sequestration in Global Forests Under Different Carbon Price Regimes

This paper examines the potential role of carbon sequestration in forests under a range of exogenously chosen carbon price paths. The price paths were chosen to simulate several different climate change policies. The results indicate that global sequestration could range from 48�147 Pg C by 2105 for carbon prices ranging from $100 to more than $800 per t C by the end of the century. The timing of sequestration is found to be sensitive to the assumed carbon price path. Low initial carbon prices ($10 - $20 per t C in 2010) followed by rapid price increases, as might occur if policy makers try to stabilize future concentrations, suggest little, if any, sequestration during the next 20 years (-0.2 to 4.5 Pg C). If policy makers develop policies that support higher initial carbon prices, ranging from $75 to $100 per t C, 17 to 23 Pg C could be sequestered in forests over the next 20 years. Overall, our results indicate that forestry is not an efficient stopgap measure for long-term policy goals, but that it is instead an important long-term partner with other mitigation options.

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Energy Specializations: Energy and the Environment – Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases; Energy and the Environment – R&D and Emerging Technologies; Energy and the Environment – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming
O32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

Keywords: Carbon sequestration, Forests, Climate change policy, Carbon prices

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-VolSI2006-NoSI3-6

Published in Multi-Greenhouse Gas Mitigation and Climate Policy, Special Issue #3 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.