Bottomup Versus Topdown Models And Serious Questions About The Future Role Of Forestry

In attempting to estimate the part that forestry will play in tackling climate change, a question arises as to how much reliance should be placed on such top-down estimates of forests' potential to mitigate climate change as those above. These models do not generally address barriers to implementation such as transaction costs, adherence to rules of forestry programs and, importantly, political and financial risks. Bottom-up studies take more account of impediments and costs at the local level, and global estimates based on them produce far more conservative estimates.

The IPCC summarized bottom-up studies and reported a mean estimate of global potential of 2.75 Gt CO2e, compared with 13.78 Gt in top-down studies (see Figure 1.6).

This great disparity in the estimates of potential suggests that a deeper examination of the constraints operating on forest conservation and the planting of new forests is warranted, particularly in tropical countries where most of the potential lies.

The methodology behind the estimation of the price of CO2e necessary to induce forest conservation or establishment of new forests is the first issue addressed.

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Bottom-up estimate of potential

Top-down estimate of potential ra

Bottom-up estimate of potential

Top-down estimate of potential

Figure 1.6

Global abatement potential estimates by bottom-up and top-down studies, at a price of = or < US$100 per tonne of CO2e, by 2030

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