liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Making two parallel land-use sector debates meet: Carbon leakage and indirect land-use change
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research. Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Physical Resource Theory, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden; Centre for Environment and Sustainability, GMV, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4484-266X
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research. Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, E-ISSN 1873-5754, Vol. 36, 533-542 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Several land-based policy options are discussed within the current quest for feasible climate change mit-igation options, among them the creation and conservation of forest carbon sinks through mechanismssuch as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation also called REDD+ and the substi-tution of fossil fuels through biofuels, as legislated in the EU Renewable Energy Directive. While those twopolicy processes face several methodological challenges, there is one issue that both processes encounter:the displacement of land use and the related emissions, which is referred to as carbon leakage in the con-text of emissions accounting, and indirect land-use change also called ILUC within the bioenergy realm.The debates surrounding carbon leakage and indirect land-use change issues run in parallel but are ratherisolated from each other, without much interaction. This paper analyzes the similarities and differences aswell as common challenges within these parallel debates by the use of peer-reviewed articles and reports,with a focus on approaches to address and methods to quantify emissions at national and internationalscale. The aim is to assess the potential to use synergies and learn from the two debates to optimizeclimate benefits. The results show that the similarities are many, while the differences between carbonleakage and ILUC are found in the actual commodity at stake and to some degree in the policy forumin which the debate is taken. The geographical scale, actors and parties involved also play a role. Bothprocesses operate under the same theoretical assumption and face the same problem of lacking methodsto quantify the emissions caused by international displacement. The approach to international displace-ment is one of the main differences; while US and EU biofuel policymakers acknowledge uncertainties inILUC accounting but strive to reduce them, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Changeexcludes accounting for international carbon leakage. Potential explanations behind these differences liein the liability issue and the underlying accounting principles of producer responsibility for carbon leak-age and consumer responsibility for ILUC. This is also reflected on the level of lobby activities, where ILUChas reached greater public and policy interest than carbon leakage. Finally, a possible way forward forinternational leakage accounting in future climate treaties could be the adoption of accounting methodstaking a consumer perspective, to be used alongside the existing set-up, which could improve climateintegrity of land-based policies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 36, 533-542 p.
Keyword [en]
Carbon-accounting system, Climate policy, Greenhouse-gas emissions, Forest conservation, Land-use competition
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100376DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2013.09.012ISI: 000329881400052OAI: diva2:661706
Swedish Energy AgencySwedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2013-11-04 Created: 2013-11-04 Last updated: 2016-06-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. To leak or not to leak?: Land‐Use Displacement and Carbon Leakage from Forest Conservation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To leak or not to leak?: Land‐Use Displacement and Carbon Leakage from Forest Conservation
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Att läcka eller inte läcka? : Markanvändningsförskjutning och kolläckage från skogsbevarande åtgärder
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the question how emissions from land‐use displacement can be assessed and accounted for, using the example of carbon‐leakage accounting in the planned UNFCCC mechanism on ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation’ (REDD). REDD serves here as example of an international forest conservation policy that might be effective locally but could lead to displacement of deforestation to other countries. Although leakage processes within countries are initially considered, the focus of the thesis is on international displacement effects. The first part of the thesis reviews existing accounting methods for land‐use displacement from different research fields and assesses their usefulness to quantify carbon leakage from REDD. Results show that it is very difficult to assess policy‐induced (or strong) carbon leakage due to the requirement to demonstrate causal links between the policy in question and the observed land‐use changes, especially at international scale. Other accounting methods focus on demand‐driven (or weak) carbon leakage, by establishing a link between international demand and consumption patterns and land‐use changes as their  distant effects. Methods to quantify such teleconnections commonly combine land‐use accounting with tradeflow assessments to link international trade streams and consumption with environmental impacts such as land use or land‐use changes arising in the production of traded commodities. A methodological challenge is currently the quantification of emissions from land‐use change generated by distant linkages between production and consumption locations. Responding to this shortcoming, in the second part of the thesis a new method to assess these teleconnections is developed. The ‘land‐use change carbon footprint’ allows quantifying the extent to which landuse changes and associated emissions in a given country are promoted by the production of export goods, and thus are due to international demand for ‐ and consumption of ‐ forest‐risk commodities. The understanding of such distant deforestation drivers can be useful in several contexts, such as the design of conservation policies like REDD, which risk being less effective as globalized deforestation drivers pose a high risk for international leakages; or the planning of demand‐side measures that could complement supply‐side action in decreasing global deforestation levels. Demand‐side measures, such as zero‐deforestation embargos, regulations or certification schemes, could eventually contribute to decrease the risk for international land‐use displacement by addressing global consumption levels and commodity demand as one of the underlying driving forces of land‐use change and deforestation.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen undersöker hur utsläpp av växthusgaser, genererade genom en förskjutning av markanvändning, kan bedömas och redovisas. Detta exemplifieras genom analys av UNFCCC’s mekanism ”Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation ‐ REDD”. REDD betraktas här som ett exempel på en internationell skogsskyddspolicy som kan fungera effektivt på lokal nivå, men som ändå kan leda till förskjutning av avskogningen till andra länder. Den första delen av avhandlingen analyserar befintliga  redovisningsmetoder för förskjutning av markanvändning från olika forskningsområden och bedömer deras användbarhet när det gäller kvantifiering av koldioxidläckage från REDD. Resultaten visar att det är mycket svårt att bedöma policy‐genererat koldioxidläckage på grund av kravet att påvisa orsakssamband mellan policyn i fråga och de observerade förändringarna av markanvändningen. Andra redovisningsmetoder fokuserar på såkallade teleconnections, genom att upprätta en länk mellan internationell konsumtionsmönster och miljöpåverkan (t.ex. effekter på global markanvändning) som uppstår på grund av produktion av handelsvaror. Metoder för att bedöma sådant efterfrågestyrt koldioxidläckage brukar kombinera markanvändnings‐redovisning med bedömningar av handelsflöde för att knyta ihop internationella konsumtion med globala förändringar av markanvändningen. För närvarande är den metodologiska utmaningen att kvantifiera utsläppen från en förändrad markanvändning till följd av teleconnections. Ett förslag på en  metodlösning utvecklas inom den andra delen av avhandlingen. Indikatorn "land‐use change carbon footprint (LUC‐CFP) som kan kopplas med handelsflödesanalys ger möjlighet att kvantifiera i vilken utsträckning en förändrad markanvändning och tillhörande utsläpp i ett visst land främjas av produktionen av exportvaror. Därmed visas hur internationell efterfrågan och konsumtion av produkter fungerar som drivkraft bakom avskogning. Förståelsen för dessa globala drivkrafter kan vara användbar i flera sammanhang. Exempel är utformningen av bevarandepolicies som REDD, vilka riskerar att bli mindre effektiv när globaliserade drivkrafter bakom avskogning utgör en hög risk för internationellt läckage; eller planeringen av policyåtgärder från efterfrågesidan. Genom att ta itu med globala konsumtionsnivåer och efterfrågan på handelsvaror, som är en av de bakomliggande drivkrafterna för avskogning, kan man så småningom bidra till att minska risken för internationellt förskjutning av markanvändning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 62 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 608
Climate change, land‐use change and deforestation, accounting methods, consumer and producer responsibility, REDD+, Klimatförändring, markanvändning och avskogning, redovisningsmetoder, konsument‐ och producentansvaret; REDD+
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104784 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-104784 (DOI)978-91-7519-400-4 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-15, Önnesjösalen, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:33 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-02-26 Created: 2014-02-26 Last updated: 2015-06-02Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Ostwald, MadeleneHenders, Sabine
By organisation
Centre for Climate Science and Policy ResearchDepartment of Water and Environmental StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
In the same journal
Land use policy
Environmental Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 104 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link