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Should forests be used as uncertain carbon sinks or uncertain fossil fuel substitutes in the EU Roadmap to 2050?

Author

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  • Elofsson, Katarina

    () (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

  • Gren, Ing-Marie

    () (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

Abstract

This study investigates the contribution of forest carbon sequestration to a cost-efficient EU climate policy from 2010 to 2050 under conditions of uncertainty. We note that there is a trade-off between sequestration and alternative uses of forests such as bioenergy and timber production. A dynamic and probabilistic cost-minimization model is developed, which includes fossil fuel use within the EU Emissions Trading System and forest management in the EU-27 countries. The results suggest that if policy makers wish to meet emissions targets with 80% certainty, this goal will be eight times more expensive than when they were unconcerned with uncertainty. Policy makers’ risk attitudes affect forest management strategy primarily through the inclusion of wood products, where potential carbon emissions reductions are high but also highly uncertain. Excluding wood products from a climate strategy can be expensive if policy maker are insensitive to uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Elofsson, Katarina & Gren, Ing-Marie, 2013. "Should forests be used as uncertain carbon sinks or uncertain fossil fuel substitutes in the EU Roadmap to 2050?," Working Paper Series 2013:8, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:slueko:2013_008
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    File URL: http://pub.epsilon.slu.se/10810/7/gren_et_al_130924.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gren, Ing-Marie & Carlsson, Mattias & Elofsson, Katarina & Munnich, Miriam, 2012. "Stochastic carbon sinks for combating carbon dioxide emissions in the EU," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1523-1531.
    2. Arun S. Malik & David Letson & Stephen R. Crutchfield, 1993. "Point/Nonpoint Source Trading of Pollution Abatement: Choosing the Right Trading Ratio," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 75(4), pages 959-967.
    3. Gren, Ing-Marie & Munnich, Miriam & Carlsson, Mattias & Elofsson, Katarina, 2009. "A numerical model for cost effective mitigation of CO2 in the EU with stochastic carbon sink," Department of Economics publications 9327, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    4. Robert N. Stavins, 1999. "The Costs of Carbon Sequestration: A Revealed-Preference Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 994-1009, September.
    5. A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1959. "Chance-Constrained Programming," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 6(1), pages 73-79, October.
    6. Newell, Richard G. & Stavins, Robert N., 2000. "Climate Change and Forest Sinks: Factors Affecting the Costs of Carbon Sequestration," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 211-235, November.
    7. Valentina Bosetti & Ruben Lubowski & Alexander Golub & Anil Markandya, 2009. "Linking Reduced Deforestation and a Global Carbon Market: Impacts on Costs, Financial Flows, and Technological Innovation," Working Papers 2009.56, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Geijer, Erik & Bostedt, Göran & Brännlund, Runar, 2011. "Damned if you do, damned if you do not--Reduced Climate Impact vs. Sustainable Forests in Sweden," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 94-106, January.
    9. Schlegel Stephanie & Kaphengst Timo, 2007. "European Union Policy on Bioenergy and the Role of Sustainability Criteria and Certification Systems," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-19, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    uncertainty; carbon sequestration; bioenergy; wood products; climate policy; cost-efficiency; EU.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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