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Biological Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Trading Re-visited

Gerrit van Kooten

No 2008-04, Working Papers from University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group

Abstract: Under Kyoto, biological activities that sequester carbon can be used to create CO2 offset credits that could obviate the need for lifestyle-changing reductions in fossil fuel use. Credits are earned by storing carbon in terrestrial ecosystems and wood products, although CO2 emissions are also mitigated by delaying deforestation, which accounts for one-quarter of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. However, non-permanent carbon offsets from biological activities are difficult to compare with each other and with emissions reduction because they differ in how long they prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere. This is the duration problem; it results in uncertainty and makes it difficult to determine the legitimacy of biological activities in mitigating climate change. While there is not doubt that biological sink activities help mitigate climate change and should not be neglected, in this paper we demonstrate that these activities cannot be included in carbon trading schemes.

Keywords: carbon offset credits from biological activities; climate change; duration of carbon sinks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q54 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 26 pages
Date: 2008-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-ene and nep-env
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

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Working Paper: Biological Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Trading Re-Visited (2008) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:rep:wpaper:2008-04

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