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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Carbon mitigation potential and costs of forestry options in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the Phillippines and Tanzania


This paper summarizes studies of carbon (C) mitigation potential and costs of about 40 forestry options in seven developing countries. Each study uses the same methodological approach - Comprehensive Mitigation Assessment Process (COMAP) - to estimate the above parameters between 2000 and 2030. The approach requires the projection of baseline and mitigation land-use scenarios. Coupled with data on a per ha basis on C sequestration or avoidance, and costs and benefits, it allows the estimation of monetary benefit per Mg C, and the total costs and carbon potential. The results show that about half (3.0 Pg C) the cumulative mitigation potential of 6.2 Petagram (Pg) C between 2000 and 2030 in the seven countries (about 200 x 106 Mg C yr-1) could be achieved at a negative cost and the remainder at costs ranging up to $100 Mg C-1. About 5 Pg C could be achieved, at a cost less than $20 per Mg C. Negative cost potential indicates that non-carbon revenue is sufficient to offset direct costs of these options. The achievable potential is likely to be smaller, however, due to market, institutional, and sociocultural barriers that can delay or prevent the implementation of the analyzed options.

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