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To leak or not to leak?: Land‐Use Displacement and Carbon Leakage from Forest Conservation
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research . Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Att läcka eller inte läcka? : Markanvändningsförskjutning och kolläckage från skogsbevarande åtgärder (Swedish)
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 [en]
Climate change, land‐use change and deforestation, accounting methods, consumer and producer responsibility, REDD+
Keyword [sv]
Klimatförändring, markanvändning och avskogning, redovisningsmetoder, konsument‐ och producentansvaret; REDD+
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104784DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-104784ISBN: 978-91-7519-400-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-104784DiVA: diva2:699035
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
List of papers
1. Forest Carbon Leakage Quantification Methods and Their Suitability for Assessing Leakage in REDD
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Forest Carbon Leakage Quantification Methods and Their Suitability for Assessing Leakage in REDD
2012 (English)In: Forests, ISSN 1999-4907, E-ISSN 1999-4907, Vol. 3, no 1, 33-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper assesses quantification methods for carbon leakage from forestry activities for their suitability in leakage accounting in a future Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism. To that end, we first conducted a literature review to identify specific pre-requisites for leakage assessment in REDD. We then analyzed a total of 34 quantification methods for leakage emissions from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the Climate Action Reserve (CAR), the CarbonFix Standard (CFS), and from scientific literature sources. We screened these methods for the leakage aspects they address in terms of leakage type, tools used for quantification and the geographical scale covered. Results show that leakage methods can be grouped into nine main methodological approaches, six of which could fulfill the recommended REDD leakage requirements if approaches for primary and secondary leakage are combined. The majority of methods assessed, address either primary or secondary leakage; the former mostly on a local or regional and the latter on national scale. The VCS is found to be the only carbon accounting standard at present to fulfill all leakage quantification requisites in REDD. However, a lack of accounting methods was identified for international leakage, which was addressed by only two methods, both from scientific literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Geneva, Switzerland: MDPI, 2012
Keyword
forest carbon accounting standards; scientific literature; primary and secondary leakage; international leakage; national-scale accounting
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-74230 (URN)10.3390/f3010033 (DOI)
Available from: 2012-01-26 Created: 2012-01-20 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
2. Making two parallel land-use sector debates meet: Carbon leakage and indirect land-use change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making two parallel land-use sector debates meet: Carbon leakage and indirect land-use change
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
Keyword
Carbon-accounting system, Climate policy, Greenhouse-gas emissions, Forest conservation, Land-use competition
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100376 (URN)10.1016/j.landusepol.2013.09.012 (DOI)000329881400052 ()
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencySwedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2013-11-04 Created: 2013-11-04 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Accounting methods for international land-related leakage and distant deforestation drivers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Accounting methods for international land-related leakage and distant deforestation drivers
2014 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 99, 21-28 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

International agricultural trade flows are increasingly important as distant drivers in global land-use changes, creating teleconnections between geographically separated locations of consumption and production. Land-use displacement and associated carbon emissions can undermine the effectiveness of land-use and climate policies, such as activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Nevertheless, few accounting methods exist for international emissions leakage from land-use change, due to methodological and policy challenges. In this paper we review methods to quantify international land-use displacement and teleconnections through international trade. Weaknesses and strengths of those methods are assessed as well as the conclusiveness of results. We identify limitations and potential ways forward for the quantification of land-related leakage in general, while highlighting implications for REDD-leakage accounting in particular. Results show that land-related leakage assessments are facilitated by applying a weak leakage definition, without the requirement to demonstrate causal leakage effects. Suitable quantification approaches combine method elements such as economic modeling, trade-flow analysis, biophysical accounting and life-cycle assessments. Depending on the use of monetary or physical input data the results can change considerably. All reviewed methods face limitations such as uncertainties and data gaps in emission factors

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014
Keyword
Carbon leakage; Emissions embodied in trade; Consumption- and production-based accounting
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104713 (URN)10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.01.005 (DOI)000332820900003 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council FormasSwedish Energy Agency
Available from: 2014-02-24 Created: 2014-02-24 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. A method for calculating a land-use change carbon footprint (LUC-CFP) for agricultural commodities: applications to Brazilian beef and soy, Indonesian palm oil
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A method for calculating a land-use change carbon footprint (LUC-CFP) for agricultural commodities: applications to Brazilian beef and soy, Indonesian palm oil
2014 (English)In: Global Change Biology, ISSN 1354-1013, E-ISSN 1365-2486, Vol. 20, no 11, 3482-3491 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The world’s agricultural system has come under increasing scrutiny recently as an important driver of global climate change, creating a demand for indicators that estimate the climatic impacts of agricultural commodities. Such carbon footprints (CFPs), however, have in most cases excluded emissions from land‐use change (LUC) and the proposed methodologies for including this significant emissions source suffer from different shortcomings. Here we propose a new methodology for calculating land‐use change carbon footprints (LUC‐CFPs) for agricultural commodities and illustrate this methodology by applying it to three of the most prominent agricultural commodities driving tropical deforestation: Brazilian beef and soybeans, and Indonesian palm oil. We estimate LUCCFPs in 2010 to be 66 tCO2/tCW for Brazilian beef, 0.9 tCO2/t for Brazilian soybeans, and 8.6 tCO2/t for Indonesian palm oil. The main advantage of the proposed methodology is its flexibility: it can be applied in a tiered approach, using detailed data where it is available while still allowing for estimation of LUC‐CFPs for a broad set of countries and agricultural commodities; it can be applied at different scales, estimating both national and sub‐national LUC‐CFPs; it can be adopted to account both for direct (proximate) and indirect drivers of LUC. It is argued that with an increasing commercialization and globalization of the drivers of land‐use change, LUC‐CFPs could help leverage the power needed to alter environmentally destructive land‐use practices within the global agricultural system by providing a tool for assessing the environmental impacts of production, thereby informing consumers about the impacts of consumption and incentivizing producers to become more environmentally responsible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley, 2014
Keyword
Carbon footprint, land use change, deforestation, Brazil, Indonesia, beef, soybeans, palm oil
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Climate Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104782 (URN)10.1111/gcb.12635 (DOI)000343762800016 ()24838193 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2014-02-26 Created: 2014-02-26 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
5. Land-use change emissions embodied in exports of agricultural forest-risk commodities from Brazil and Indonesia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Land-use change emissions embodied in exports of agricultural forest-risk commodities from Brazil and Indonesia
(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:nbn:se:liu:diva-104783 (URN)
Available from: 2014-02-26 Created: 2014-02-26 Last updated: 2014-05-27Bibliographically approved

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