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Estimating Carbon Supply Curves for Global Forests and Other Land Uses


  • Sedjo, Roger

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Sohngen, Brent
  • Mendelsohn, Robert


This study develops cumulative carbon “supply curves” for global forests utilizing an dynamic timber supply model for sequestration of forest carbon. Because the period of concern is the next century, and particular time points within that century, the curves are not traditional Marshallian supply curves or steady-state supply curves. Rather, the focus is on cumulative carbon cost curves (quasi-supply curves) at various points in time over the next 100 years. The research estimates a number of long-term, cumulative, carbon quasi-supply curves under different price scenarios and for different time periods. The curves trace out the relationship between an intertemporal price path for carbon, as given by carbon shadow prices, and the cumulative carbon sequestered from the initiation of the shadow prices, set at 2000, to a selected future year (2010, 2050, 2100). The timber supply model demonstrates that cumulative carbon quasi-supply curves that can be generated through forestry significantly depend on initial carbon prices and expectations regarding the time profile of future carbon prices. Furthermore, long-run quasi-supply curves generated from a constant price will have somewhat different characteristics from quasi-supply curves generated with an expectation of rising carbon prices through time. The “least-cost” curves vary the time periods under consideration and the time profile of carbon prices. The quasi-supply curves suggest that a policy of gradually increasing carbon prices will generate the least costly supply curves in the shorter periods of a decade or so. Over longer periods of time, however, such as 50 or 100 years, these advantages appear to dissipate.

Suggested Citation

  • Sedjo, Roger & Sohngen, Brent & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2001. "Estimating Carbon Supply Curves for Global Forests and Other Land Uses," Discussion Papers dp-01-19, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-01-19

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brent Sohngen & Robert Mendelsohn & Roger Sedjo, 1999. "Forest Management, Conservation, and Global Timber Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 1-13.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:forpol:v:90:y:2018:i:c:p:59-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Monge, Juan J. & Bryant, Henry L. & Gan, Jianbang & Richardson, James W., 2016. "Land use and general equilibrium implications of a forest-based carbon sequestration policy in the United States," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 102-120.
    3. Parajuli, Rajan & Chang, Sun Joseph, 2012. "Carbon sequestration and uneven-aged management of loblolly pine stands in the Southern USA: A joint optimization approach," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 65-71.
    4. Myers, Erin C., 2007. "Policies to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in Tropical Forests: An Examination of the Issues Facing the Incorporation of REDD into Market-Based Climate Policies," Discussion Papers dp-07-50, Resources For the Future.
    5. Jung, Martina, 2003. "The Role of Forestry Sinks in the CDM - Analysing the Effects of Policy Decisions on the Carbon Market," HWWA Discussion Papers 241, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    6. Radetzki, Marian, 2002. "What will happen to the producer prices for fossil fuels if Kyoto is implemented?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 357-369, April.
    7. van 't Veld, Klaas & Plantinga, Andrew, 2005. "Carbon sequestration or abatement? The effect of rising carbon prices on the optimal portfolio of greenhouse-gas mitigation strategies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 59-81, July.

    More about this item


    carbon supply curves; sequestration; timber; forests; model; global warming; prices; markets;

    JEL classification:

    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land

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