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Forests 2018, 9(9), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090542

Forest Carbon Sequestration, Pathogens and the Costs of the EU’s 2050 Climate Targets

Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7013, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
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Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
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Abstract

Carbon sequestration is suggested as a low-cost option for climate change mitigation, the functioning of which can be threatened by pathogen infestation. This study calculates the effects of infectious pathogens on the cost of achieving the EU’s 2050 climate targets by combining the so-called production function method with the replacement cost method. Pathogens are then assumed to affect carbon sink enhancement through the impact on productivity of forest land, and carbon sequestration is valued as the replacement for costly reductions in emissions from fossil fuels for reaching the EU’s 2050 climate targets. To this end, we have constructed a numerical dynamic optimization model with a logistic forest growth function, a simple allometric representation of the spread of pathogens in forests, and reductions in emissions from fossil fuels. The results show that the annual value of forest carbon sequestration ranges between approximately 6.4 and 14.9 billion Euros, depending on the impact and dispersal of pathogens. Relatively large values are obtained for countries with large emissions from fossil fuels, e.g., Germany, France, Spain and Italy, which also face costs of pathogen together with countries with large forest area, such as Romania. View Full-Text
Keywords: value of forest carbon sink; forest pathogen; climate policy; cost-effectiveness; EU climate targets value of forest carbon sink; forest pathogen; climate policy; cost-effectiveness; EU climate targets
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Gren, I.-M.; Aklilu, A.Z.; Elofsson, K. Forest Carbon Sequestration, Pathogens and the Costs of the EU’s 2050 Climate Targets. Forests 2018, 9, 542.

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