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The Dynamic Competitiveness of U.S. Agricultural and Forest Carbon Sequestration

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Abstract

Global society is moving towards action to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This can be expensive and socially disruptive in countries like the United States where the vast majority of emissions arise from electrical energy generation and petroleum usage. Agricultural and forest carbon sequestration along with development of other greenhouse gas offsets may help hold costs and disruption down. However sequestration exhibits saturation and non permanence that may influence this role. We examine the dynamic role that the agricultural and forest sectors can play in emissions offsets and mitigation. A 100 year modeling analysis, depicting U.S. agricultural and forest sectoral activities is applied to simulate agricultural and forestry potential mitigation response. The results reveal that agriculture and forestry can play an important role principally through cropland soil sequestration, afforestation and biofuel provision. However the importance of these strategies varies with price and time. At low carbon prices and in the near term agricultural soils are most important in the longer term and at high prices powerplant feedstock biofuels dominate. Ignoring saturation leads to an overstatement of the potential importance of sequestration strategies. Nevertheless the results show that the agricultural and forest sectors may serve as an important bridge to the future helping to hold costs down until energy emissions related technology develops.

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  • Heng-Chi Lee & Bruce A. McCarl, 2004. "The Dynamic Competitiveness of U.S. Agricultural and Forest Carbon Sequestration," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20044, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:uwowop:20044
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    1. Alig, Ralph J. & Adams, Darius M. & McCarl, Bruce A., 1998. "Impacts of Incorporating Land Exchanges Between Forestry and Agriculture in Sector Models," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(02), pages 389-401, December.
    2. Darius M. Adams & Ralph J. Alig & DBruce A. McCarl & John M. Callaway & Steven M. Winnett, 1999. "Minimum Cost Strategies for Sequestering Carbon in Forests," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(3), pages 360-374.
    3. Ian Noble & R. J. Scholes, 2001. "Sinks and the Kyoto Protocol," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 5-25, March.
    4. Schneider, Uwe A. & Kumar, Pushpam, 2008. "Greenhouse Gas Mitigation through Agriculture," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 23(1).
    5. McCarl, Bruce A. & Schneider, Uwe A., 1999. "Curbing Greenhouse Gases: Agriculture's Role," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 14(1).
    6. Antle, John M. & Capalbo, Susan Marie & Mooney, Sian & Elliott, Edward T. & Paustian, Keith H., 2001. "Economic Analysis Of Agricultural Soil Carbon Sequestration: An Integrated Assessment Approach," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(02), December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sumeet Gulati & James Vercammen, 2005. "The Optimal Length of an Agricultural Carbon Contract," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 53(4), pages 359-373, December.
    2. Yi-Bin Chiu, 2012. "Deforestation and the Environmental Kuznets Curve in Developing Countries: A Panel Smooth Transition Regression Approach," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 60(2), pages 177-194, June.
    3. Galinato, Gregmar I. & Olanie, Aaron & Uchida, Shinsuke & Yoder, Jonathan K., 2011. "Long-term versus temporary certified emission reductions in forest carbon sequestration programs," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 55(4), December.
    4. Edwin van der Werf & Sonja Peterson, 2009. "Modeling linkages between climate policy and land use: an overview," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(5), pages 507-517, September.
    5. Vass, Miriam Münnich & Elofsson, Katarina, 2016. "Is forest carbon sequestration at the expense of bioenergy and forest products cost-efficient in EU climate policy to 2050?," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 82-105.
    6. Szulczyk, Kenneth R. & McCarl, Bruce A., 2010. "Market penetration of biodiesel," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(8), pages 2426-2433, October.
    7. Szulczyk, Kenneth R. & McCarl, Bruce A. & Cornforth, Gerald, 2010. "Market penetration of ethanol," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 394-403, January.
    8. Uwe A. Schneider & Michael Obersteiner & Erwin Schmid & Bruce A. McCarl, 2007. "Agricultural adaptation to climate policies under technical change," Working Papers FNU-133, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jan 2008.
    9. Timothy Capon & Michael Harris & Andrew Reeson, 2013. "The Design of Markets for Soil Carbon Sequestration," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 161-173, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change mitigation; saturation; carbon sequestration;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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