National Policies for Biosphere Greenhouse Gas Management: Issues and Opportunities

November 2002
Environmental Management;Nov2002, Vol. 30 Issue 5, p0595
Academic Journal
Biosphere greenhouse gas (GHG) management consists of preserving and enhancing terrestrial carbon pools and producing biomass as a fossil fuel substitute. The discussion of this topic has focused primarily on carbon-accounting and project-level issues, particularly relating to carbon sequestration as a source of emissions credits under the Kyoto Protocol. While international consensus on these matters is needed, this paper argues that an important domestic policy agenda also deserves attention. National policies for biosphere GHG management are necessary to bring about large-scale changes in land-use, forestry, and agricultural practices and can address some of the technical and policy issues that have proven to be particularly problematic from carbon-accounting and project-level perspectives. These policies should minimize land-use and resource-management conflicts, account for collateral benefits, and ensure institutional compatibility with existing resource-management regimes. Issues relating to project permanence, leakage, and transaction costs should also be addressed. A range of policy instruments should be used and biosphere GHG management should be one component of an integrated approach to environmental and resource management. Countries promoting biosphere GHG management as an important element of their climate change strategies should be developing these domestic policies to complement international negotiations and to demonstrate that carbon sequestration and biomass production can make an effective contribution to the stabilization of atmospheric GHG concentrations. Email: kennett@ucalgary.ca -->


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