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Measurement and economic valuation of carbon sequestration in Nova Scotian wetlands

Kirsten Gallant, Patrick Withey, Dave Risk, Gerrit van Kooten and Lynsay Spafford

Ecological Economics, 2020, vol. 171, issue C

Abstract: Carbon sequestration and methane flux in wetlands in Nova Scotia are measured. The social benefits associated with carbon storage are estimated using the net sequestration rate and estimates of the social cost of carbon from the Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy (DICE model). The net benefits of restoring wetlands in agricultural cropland are estimated based on these values and costs of restoration from the literature. The aim is to put a value on wetlands in Nova Scotia using original data rather than benefit transfers from other regions, thereby informing policy aimed at wetlands management in the region. Based on the results of this study, wetlands in Nova Scotia sequester 6.45 tCO2eha−1 yr−1 on average, and release 1.46 tCO2e ha−1 yr−1 as methane. The total benefits of carbon sequestration in wetlands in Nova Scotia are roughly $124–$373 ha−1 yr−1, and range from $5105 to $39,795 ha−1 in total. The social benefit of wetlands in terms of carbon sequestration is as high as $9.66 billion in Nova Scotia. Results indicate that protection of existing wetlands can be warranted on economic grounds. On average, it is not optimal to create wetlands for carbon sequestration, although it may be economically viable to target wetlands that are particularly productive in terms of storing CO2. It may also be viable to restore wetlands if ecosystem services are considered along with carbon sequestration.

Keywords: Wetlands valuation; Carbon sequestration; Methane flux; Nova Scotia; Social cost of carbon (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:171:y:2020:i:c:s092180091931362x

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106619

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