This study aims to determine whether carbon sequestration policies could present a significant contribution to the global portfolio of climate change mitigation options. The objective is to model the effects of policies designed to induce landowners to change land use and management patterns with a view to sequester carbon or to reduce deforestation. The approach uses the spatially explicit Dynamic Integrated Model of Forestry and Alternative Land Use (DIMA) to quantify the economic potential of global forests. The model chooses which of the land-use processes (afforestation, reforestation, deforestation, or conservation and management options) would be applied in a specific location, based on land prices, cost of forest production and harvesting, site productivity, population density, and estimates of economic growth. The approach is relevant in that it (1) couples a revised and updated version of the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios with the dynamic development of climate policy implications through integration with the Model for Energy Supply Strategy Alternatives and their General Environmental Impact (MESSAGE); (2) is spatially explicit on a 0.5° grid; and (3) is constrained by guaranteeing food security and land for urban development. As outputs, DIMA produces 100-year forecasts of land-use change, carbon sequestration, impacts of carbon incentives (e.g., avoided deforestation), biomass for bioenergy, and climate policy impacts. The modeling results indicate that carbon sequestration policies could contribute to a significant part of the global portfolio of efficient climate mitigation policies, dependent upon carbon prices.
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