Researchers from RTI International (RTI), North Carolina State University and Ohio State University are reporting in the journal Nature Communications, published on 12-2-20, that planting trees and preventing deforestation remain key climate change mitigation strategies. However, their analysis finds the cost of planting trees to hit certain global emissions reductions targets could quickly accelerate. The researchers have projected that by 2055, it would cost as much as $393 billion per year to pay landowners to plant and protect enough trees to achieve more than 10 percent of total emissions reductions that international policy experts say are needed to restrict climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Justin Baker, co-author of the study and associate professor of forest resource economics at NC State, said, “The global forestry sector can provide a really substantial chunk of the mitigation needed to hit global climate targets. The physical potential is there, but when we look at the economic costs, they are nonlinear. That means that the more we reduce emissions – the more carbon we’re sequestering – we’re paying higher and higher costs for it.”
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Cost of Planting, Protecting Trees to Fight Climate Change Could Jump