Forests can play a large role in climate change through the sequestration or emission of carbon, an important greenhouse gas; through biological growth, which can increase forest stocks; or through deforestation, which can increase carbon emissions. Carbon is captured not only in tree biomass but also in forest soils. Forest management and public policy can strongly influence the sequestration process. Economic policies can provide incentives for both forest expansion and contraction. Systems that provide prices for carbon sequestration or taxes for emissions can have important effects on emission and sequestration levels. Issues involve carbon additionality, permanence, and leakage. Forest measurement, monitoring, and verification also provide serious challenges. Various economic models are used to estimate the effects of various economic policies on forest carbon stocks. Estimates from the literature of some actual and potential levels of forest carbon are presented.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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