Carbon Storage and Bioenergy: Using Forests for Climate Mitigation

24 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2016

See all articles by Alice Favero

Alice Favero

Georgia Institute of Technology

Robert O. Mendelsohn

Yale University - School of Forestry & Environmental Studies; Yale University

Brent Sohngen

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Agricultural, Environmental & Development Economics

Date Written: March 2, 2016

Abstract

The carbon mitigation literature has separately considered using forests to store carbon and as a source of bioenergy. In this paper, we look at both options to reach a 2°C mitigation target. This paper combines the global forest model, GTM, with the IAM WITCH model to study the optimal use of forestland to reach an aggressive global mitigation target. The analysis confirms that using both options is preferable to using either one alone. At first, while carbon prices are low, forest carbon storage dominates. However, when carbon prices pass $235/tCO2, wood bioenergy with CCS becomes increasingly important as a mechanism to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. The use of both mechanisms increases global forestland at the expense of marginal cropland. While the storage program dominates, natural forestland expands. But when the wood bioenergy program starts, natural forestland shrinks as more forests become managed for higher yields.

Keywords: Climate Change, Woody Biomass, Carbon Sequestration, BECCS, Forestry, Carbon Mitigation, Integrated Assessment Model

JEL Classification: Q23, Q42, Q54

Suggested Citation

Favero, Alice and Mendelsohn, Robert O. and Sohngen, Brent L., Carbon Storage and Bioenergy: Using Forests for Climate Mitigation (March 2, 2016). FEEM Working Paper No. 009.2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2741005 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2741005

Alice Favero (Contact Author)

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

Robert O. Mendelsohn

Yale University - School of Forestry & Environmental Studies ( email )

195 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States
2034325128 (Phone)

Brent L. Sohngen

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Agricultural, Environmental & Development Economics ( email )

2120 Fyffe Rd
Ag Admin
Columbus, OH 43210-1067
United States

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