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Cost-effective payments for reducing emissions from deforestation under uncertainty

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  • Stefanie Engel
  • Charles Palmer
  • Luca Taschini
  • Simon Urech

Abstract

The paper analyses the implications of landowners’ option values in land allocation and derives policy recommendations for payments for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). Given that REDD will not represent a permanent change in the cumulative flux of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, payment scheme design is motivated by the need to secure forest carbon sinks over time (the ‘permanence criterion’) while remaining relatively cost-effective. Alternative payment schemes, combining fixed and variable components, are considered in a framework with two competing land uses, forest and agriculture. Cost-effectiveness depends on the dependency structure between the returns from the indexed component of the payment and the returns from the alternative land use, the relative volatility level of the underlying returns, and the relative combination of fixed and variable payments. After developing the general model, it is is applied to REDD policy scenarios in Parana State, Brazil.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in its series Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers with number 72.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp72

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  1. Schatzki, Todd, 2003. "Options, uncertainty and sunk costs:: an empirical analysis of land use change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 86-105, July.
  2. Lecocq, Franck & Chomitz, Kenneth, 2001. "Optimal use of carbon sequestration in a global climate change strategy : is there a wooden bridge to a clean energy future ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2635, The World Bank.
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  4. Palmer, Charles, 2011. "Property rights and liability for deforestation under REDD+: Implications for 'permanence' in policy design," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 571-576, February.
  5. Muller, Jeffrey & Albers, Heidi J., 2004. "Enforcement, payments, and development projects near protected areas: how the market setting determines what works where," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 185-204, June.
  6. Ian A. MacKenzie & Markus Ohndorf & Charles Palmer, 2010. "Enforcement-proof contracts with moral hazard in precaution: ensuring ‘permanence’ in carbon sequestration," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 30846, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  10. Engel, Stefanie & Pagiola, Stefano & Wunder, Sven, 2008. "Designing payments for environmental services in theory and practice: An overview of the issues," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 663-674, May.
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  13. Chomitz, Kenneth M. & Thomas, Timothy S., 2001. "Geographic patterns of land use and land intensity in the Brazilian Amazon," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2687, The World Bank.
  14. Groom, Ben & Palmer, Charles, 2010. "Cost-effective provision of environmental services: the role of relaxing market constraints," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 219-240, April.
  15. Dangl, Thomas & Wirl, Franz, 2004. "Investment under uncertainty: calculating the value function when the Bellman equation cannot be solved analytically," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1437-1460, April.
  16. Graeme Guthrie & Dinesh Kumareswaran, 2009. "Carbon Subsidies, Taxes and Optimal Forest Management," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(2), pages 275-293, June.
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  18. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
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Cited by:
  1. Luca Corato & Michele Moretto & Sergio Vergalli, 2013. "Land conversion pace under uncertainty and irreversibility: too fast or too slow?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 45-82, September.

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