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Land-Use Change and Carbon Sinks

Author

Listed:
  • Stavins, Robert
  • Plantinga, Andrew
  • Lubowski, Ruben

Abstract

When and if the United States chooses to implement a greenhouse gas reduction program, it will be necessary to decide whether carbon sequestration policies — such as those that promote forestation and discourage deforestation — should be part of the domestic portfolio of compliance activities. We investigate the cost of forest-based carbon sequestration. In contrast with previous approaches, we econometrically examine micro-data on revealed landowner preferences, modeling six major private land uses in a comprehensive analysis of the contiguous United States. The econometric estimates are used to simulate landowner responses to sequestration policies. Key commodity prices are treated as endogenous and a carbon sink model is used to predict changes in carbon storage. Our estimated marginal costs of carbon sequestration are greater than those from previous engineering cost analyses and sectoral optimization models. Our estimated sequestration supply function is similar to the carbon abatement supply function from energy-based analyses, suggesting that forest-based carbon sequestration merits inclusion in a cost-effective portfolio of domestic U.S. climate change strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Stavins, Robert & Plantinga, Andrew & Lubowski, Ruben, 2005. "Land-Use Change and Carbon Sinks," Discussion Papers dp-05-04, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-05-04
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    abatement; carbon; climate change; costs; forestry; greenhouse gases; land use; landuse change; sequestration;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • 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
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment

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