Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A price on carbon not enough to save rainforests

09.12.2008
Including carbon emissions from tropical deforestation in a future international climate regime will not suffice to protect the world's remaining tropical forests from expanding palm oil plantations. This is the main finding in a new study from Chalmers University of Technology.

Representatives from 190 countries are currently gathered in Poznan, Poland, for the UN-led negotiations on climate change. Reduced emissions from deforestation (RED) is one of the top issues and hopes are high that a climate protocol could help reduce deforestation in the tropics in the future.

Carbon dioxide emissions from tropical deforestation at present account for around 20 per cent of total global emissions, on a par with emissions from the transport sector. Currently there are no incentives for tropical countries to reduce these emissions, although this could change if the emissions are included in a future climate protocol.

"It is argued that this would make forest clearance unprofitable and tropical countries would choose to preserve more of their remaining forests. However, a carbon price will also increase the demand for bioenergy and make forest clearance for agricultural land more profitable," says Martin Persson, researcher at the Department of Energy and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

A new study by Martin Persson and Professor Christian Azar shows that clearing tropical forests for palm oil plantations, producing both liquid and solid biofuels, will remain highly profitable even when faced with a price on the carbon emissions arising from deforestation. The current efforts to include tropical deforestation in a future climate regime may therefore not be sufficient to protect the world's tropical forests.

The expansion of palm oil plantations is already an important driving force behind deforestation in South-east Asia, although the proportion of palm oil that goes into biodiesel production is still small. In addition, with increasing profitability there is a risk that palm oil plantations will also start to expand in the Amazon and Congo basins, areas with a large share of the world's remaining tropical forests.

"These results should not be taken as an argument for keeping tropical deforestation out of a future international climate regime. That would only make matters worse. But it implies that in addition to a price on the carbon emissions from deforestation, other and stronger protection measures will still be needed," Martin Persson concludes.

The study, 'Preserving the world's tropical forests: a price on carbon may not do'', is part of the PhD thesis that Martin Persson recently defended at the Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Contact information:
Martin Persson, Physical Resource Theory, phone: +46 (0)70 207 8198
E-mail: martin.persson@chalmers.se

Sofie Hebrand | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://publications.lib.chalmers.se/cpl/record/index.xsql?pubid=76043

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
23.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Understanding animal social networks can aid wildlife conservation
23.06.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>