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Paying to save tropical forests could be a way to reduce global carbon emissions
Date:7/23/2008

on program would be relatively cheap and practical for the United States," said Sohngen, who developed one of three models used to calculate the estimates. "It would save American taxpayers money and provide a huge transfer of funding from one region of the world to another, giving developing countries a larger chunk of the world's economic pie to use as they see fit."

The three models used to calculate the estimates are called the Global Timber Model, developed by Sohngen; the Dynamic Integrated Model of Forestry and Alternative Land Use, developed at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria; and the Generalized Comprehensive Mitigation Assessment Process Model, developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

The models employ different economic and biological assumptions to reach their respective deforestation and carbon-emission projections. Each model takes into account changes expected to occur over time, especially incentives for deforestation relating to demand for agricultural land based on changes in population, income and technology.

"The results indicate that substantial emission reductions could be accomplished through 2030, the period we examined," Sohngen said.

For example, according to the models, carbon credits costing $20 per metric ton would result in average global carbon dioxide emission reductions of between 1.6 billion and 4.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. At higher prices, the emission reductions go up substantially. At $100 per metric ton of carbon, the models predict an avoided deforestation program would yield emission reductions of between 3.1 billion and 4.7 billion metric tons of carbon annually.

Looking at a hypothetical program another way, the researchers used the models to estimate prices based on avoided deforestation goals. For example, the cost to achieve a 10 percent reduction in global deforestation through
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Contact: Brent Sohngen
Sohngen.1@osu.edu
614-688-4640
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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