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Land-use change emissions embodied in exports of agricultural forest-risk commodities from Brazil and Indonesia
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Commercial agriculture producing for international markets is increasingly important in driving tropical deforestation and global land‐use change. The geographic separation of consumption and production locations through international trade creates distant links and feedback effects that can induce land clearing in some locations. Such indirect linkages, or teleconnections, are difficult to quantify in general, and particularly in the case of emissions from land‐use change. In this paper we quantify carbon emissions from land‐use changes arising from the expansion of agricultural production of soy and beef in Brazil and oil palm plantations in Indonesia, and trace export flows of these commodities to the consumer countries. We find a steady increase of emissions embodied in exports of both countries since 1990, indicating that export production is gaining importance as a driver of land clearing. In 2010, total emissions embodied in exports reached 89 MtCO2 for Brazil and 118 MtCO2 for Indonesia. The main consuming countries included the EU as main importer of all three commodities since the 1990s, and since the 2000s exports to emerging economies have been rising; mainly of soy to China; beef to Russia and China; and palm oil to India and Malaysia. Results advance the understanding of deforestation teleconnections and can contribute to the design of forest conservation policies or demand‐side policies that address global demand and consumption levels of forest‐risk commodities.

National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Climate Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104783OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-104783DiVA: diva2:699023
Available from: 2014-02-26 Created: 2014-02-26 Last updated: 2014-05-27Bibliographically 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.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 608
Keyword
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
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104784 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-104784 (DOI)978-91-7519-400-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-15, Önnesjösalen, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:33 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-02-26 Created: 2014-02-26 Last updated: 2015-06-02Bibliographically approved

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