Postkyoto Policies And Rules For Forestry In Developed Countries

This brief review of domestic climate change policies has served to highlight the potential of forestry but also to raise questions concerning the extent of forestry's role. Should there be free rein on forestry credits, and if so what will be the indirect effects of induced land-use change? This question must be addressed by further research.

The current rules for land use, land-use change and forestry under the Kyoto Protocol relate almost specifically to developed countries. The LULUCF rules were adopted as a means by which Annex I countries could meet their targets at least cost.

From the analysis above of selected developed countries it is evident that climate change policies are still in their development stage, and while there are stated potential roles for forestry, with the exception of the EU, the strength of the price signals that will encourage forestry sinks is as yet unpredictable. Even if the schemes in the offing stimulate the initiation of forestry projects in the next two years, their impact will be negligible by 2012 when the first commitment period expires. It takes time for projects to be funded and initiated and for trees to become established and sequester carbon in any quantity. Indeed in the years immediately after establishment it is not uncommon for projects to be net emitters of greenhouse gases (see Table 5.1 and Figure 5.4).

Notwithstanding the lack of experience with the implementation of the land use and forestry provisions of the Kyoto Protocol as they apply to developed countries, some observations and recommendations can still be made concerning a future framework.

Given the massive international investment already made in the development of a quantitative accounting approach for land-use change and forestry (Hohne et al., 2007), the transition to a post-Kyoto system should be as seamless as possible. Radical departures from the current system would require parallel administrations of the old and new (Schlamadinger, 2007b). Any significant deviation from current systems would also undermine the continuity of national systems that are in the implementation phase as outlined above. Nevertheless, there are some changes that would improve accounting for carbon and facilitate the mobilization of investment in forestry activities in developed countries. These emerge from the analysis of the Kyoto Protocol in Chapter 3 and broadly follow the recommendations of Schlamadinger et al. (2007a; 2007b). These recommendations are for:

• making accounting for revegetation the same as for afforestation and deforestation, that is that the contribution is within a year rather than against a base year;

• the removal of caps on credits and debits in managed forests;

• the inclusion of stored carbon in harvested wood products, if satisfactory means of accounting can be devised.

• allowing crediting in future commitment periods.

The growth in greenhouse gas emissions from non-Annex I countries which are not subject to caps is rapid with the likelihood that their total emissions will exceed those of Annex I countries in the not-too-distant future (see Figure 7.3). If global emissions are to be brought under control the proportion of emissions generated by developing countries will need to be substantial, requiring a number of developing countries to come under caps and LULUCF provisions.


Note: The annual increases are based on the growth in emissions from 1990 to 2004. Source: World Resources Institute (2008).


Note: The annual increases are based on the growth in emissions from 1990 to 2004. Source: World Resources Institute (2008).

Figure 7.3 Projected greenhouse gas emissions for Annex I and nonAnnex I countries, 2004 to 2013

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