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Biological Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Trading Re-visited

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  • G. Cornelis van Kooten

Abstract

Under Kyoto, biological activities that sequester carbon can be used to create CO2 offset credits that could obviate the need for lifestyle-changing reductions in fossil fuel use. Credits are earned by storing carbon in terrestrial ecosystems and wood products, although CO2 emissions are also mitigated by delaying deforestation, which accounts for one-quarter of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. However, non-permanent carbon offsets from biological activities are difficult to compare with each other and with emissions reduction because they differ in how long they prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere. This is the duration problem; it results in uncertainty and makes it difficult to determine the legitimacy of biological activities in mitigating climate change. While there is not doubt that biological sink activities help mitigate climate change and should not be neglected, in this paper we demonstrate that these activities cannot be included in carbon trading schemes.

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File URL: https://web.uvic.ca/~repa/publications/REPA%20working%20papers/WorkingPaper2008-04.pdf
File Function: Final version, 2008
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 2008-04.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rep:wpaper:2008-04

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Keywords: carbon offset credits from biological activities; climate change; duration of carbon sinks;

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  1. G. Cornelis van Kooten & Brent Sohngen, 2007. "Economics of Forest Ecosystem Carbon Sinks: A Review," Working Papers 2007-02, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group.
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Cited by:
  1. Marshall, Liz & Kelly, Alexia, 2010. "The Time Value of Carbon and Carbon Storage: Clarifying the terms and the policy implications of the debate," MPRA Paper 27326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. G. Cornelis van Kooten & Craig Johnston & Zhen Xu, 2012. "Economics of Forest Carbon Sequestration," Working Papers 2012-04, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group.
  3. G. Cornelis van Kooten, 2011. "Economic Analysis of Feed-in Tariffs for Generating Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources," Working Papers 2011-02, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group.

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