Growing more forests is a good carbon storage strategy, modelling shows. Paying land users to replant tropical forests rather than cut them down could play an increasingly important role in reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide, US researchers say. Their modelling suggests that providing monetary incentives to plant trees would be more cost-effective than carbon capture and storage in some countries, though still less so than soil carbon sequestration and enhanced weathering techniques. A team led by Jonah Busch from the Earth Innovation Institute in San Francisco created spatially disaggregated marginal abatement cost (MAC) curves for tropical reforestation by simulating the effects of payments for carbon dioxide removals on land-cover change in 90 countries. They estimate that removals from tropical reforestation between 2020 and 2050 could be increased by 5.6% at a carbon price of US$20 a tonne of CO2 or 14.8% at $50 a tonne. Overall, avoiding deforestation offers 7.2 to 9.6 times as much potential low-cost abatement as reforestation, they say, but reforestation at $20 a tonne offers more potential in 21 countries, 17 of which are in Africa. Ten countries comprise 55% of potential low-cost abatement from tropical reforestation. Busch and colleagues’ analysis took account of specific site […]


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