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 Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

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: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>