BiographyBrent Sohngen is a Professor of environmental economics at Ohio State University. He conducts research on land use and climate change, carbon trading, and water quality trading. He co-authored sections of the 2001 and 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports on the impacts of climate change on forests and agriculture, and on the potential for carbon sequestration in forests.
Impacts of climate change on forest product markets: Implications for North American producers
Climate change could increase productivity in forests in North America as well as across the world while reducing timber prices. North American consumers of timber generally will gain from the potential changes, but producers could sustain losses. If forest dieback resulting from additional forest fires, increased pest infestation, or storm damage increases with effects on the market, consumers will gain less and producers will lose more than if climate change simply increases timber supplies by raising forest productivity. Annual producers’ losses from climate change in the North American timber sector could range from $1.4 − $2.1 billion per year on average over the next century, depending on the scenario. Within North America, existing studies suggest that northern timber producers are less susceptible to climate change impacts than producers in southern regions because many climate and ecological models suggest that climates become dryer in the southern United States.
Avoided deforestation as a greenhouse gas mitigation tool: Economic Issues
Tropical deforestation is a significant contributor to accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. GHG emissions from deforestation in the tropics during the 1990s were equivalent to as much as 25% of global GHG emissions from human sources. While there is growing interest in providing incentives to avoid deforestation and consequently reduce carbon emissions, there is limited information available on the potential costs of these strategies. This paper uses a global forestry and land use model to analyze the potential costs of reducing carbon emissions by avoiding deforestation in tropical countries. Estimates suggest that reductions in the billions of tones could be obtained for relatively small amounts of money, while the effects of carbon reduction incentives such as an increase in forest lands could be substantial.