Challenges in developing effective policy for soil carbon sequestration: perspectives on additionality, leakage, and permanence

Tas Thamo, David J. Pannell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    11 Citations (Scopus)
    243 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    © 2015 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    If carbon sequestration is to be a cost-effective substitute for reducing emissions then it must occur under a framework that ensures that the sequestration is additional to what would otherwise have occurred, the carbon is stored permanently, and any leakage is properly accounted for. We discuss significant challenges in meeting these requirements, including some not previously recognized. Although we focus on sequestration in soil, many of the issues covered are applicable to all types of sequestration. The common-practice method for determining additionality achieves its intention of reducing transaction costs in the short term but not in the medium to long term. Its design results in the least costly, additional abatement-measures being excluded from policy support and fails to address how, in the case of sequestration, revisions to the additionality of sequestering practices should apply not just to the future, but in theory, also retrospectively. Permanence is sometimes approximated as 100 years of sequestration. Re-release of sequestered carbon after this will not only reverse the sequestration, but may raise atmospheric carbon to higher levels than they would have been if the sequestration had never occurred. Leakage associated with sequestration practices can accumulate over time to exceed the total level of sequestration; nonetheless, adoption of such practices can be attractive to landholders, even when they are required to pay for this leakage at contemporary prices. Policy relevance Globally, much has been written and claimed about the ability to offset emissions with sequestration. The Australian Government plans to use sequestration to source much of the abatement required to reach its emissions targets. Designing effective policy for sequestration will be challenging politically, and will involve substantial transaction costs. Compromises in policy design intended to make sequestration attractive and reduce transaction costs can render i

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)973-992
    JournalClimate Policy
    Volume16
    Issue number8
    Early online date19 Aug 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2016

    Fingerprint

    soil carbon
    carbon sequestration
    leakage
    transaction cost
    carbon
    policy
    cost
    soil

    Cite this

    @article{678e305a228f4147bb77ab7cffec6aca,
    title = "Challenges in developing effective policy for soil carbon sequestration: perspectives on additionality, leakage, and permanence",
    abstract = "{\circledC} 2015 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.If carbon sequestration is to be a cost-effective substitute for reducing emissions then it must occur under a framework that ensures that the sequestration is additional to what would otherwise have occurred, the carbon is stored permanently, and any leakage is properly accounted for. We discuss significant challenges in meeting these requirements, including some not previously recognized. Although we focus on sequestration in soil, many of the issues covered are applicable to all types of sequestration. The common-practice method for determining additionality achieves its intention of reducing transaction costs in the short term but not in the medium to long term. Its design results in the least costly, additional abatement-measures being excluded from policy support and fails to address how, in the case of sequestration, revisions to the additionality of sequestering practices should apply not just to the future, but in theory, also retrospectively. Permanence is sometimes approximated as 100 years of sequestration. Re-release of sequestered carbon after this will not only reverse the sequestration, but may raise atmospheric carbon to higher levels than they would have been if the sequestration had never occurred. Leakage associated with sequestration practices can accumulate over time to exceed the total level of sequestration; nonetheless, adoption of such practices can be attractive to landholders, even when they are required to pay for this leakage at contemporary prices. Policy relevance Globally, much has been written and claimed about the ability to offset emissions with sequestration. The Australian Government plans to use sequestration to source much of the abatement required to reach its emissions targets. Designing effective policy for sequestration will be challenging politically, and will involve substantial transaction costs. Compromises in policy design intended to make sequestration attractive and reduce transaction costs can render i",
    author = "Tas Thamo and Pannell, {David J.}",
    year = "2016",
    month = "11",
    day = "16",
    doi = "10.1080/14693062.2015.1075372",
    language = "English",
    volume = "16",
    pages = "973--992",
    journal = "Climate Policy",
    issn = "1469-3062",
    publisher = "Earthscan",
    number = "8",

    }

    Challenges in developing effective policy for soil carbon sequestration: perspectives on additionality, leakage, and permanence. / Thamo, Tas; Pannell, David J.

    In: Climate Policy, Vol. 16, No. 8, 16.11.2016, p. 973-992.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Challenges in developing effective policy for soil carbon sequestration: perspectives on additionality, leakage, and permanence

    AU - Thamo, Tas

    AU - Pannell, David J.

    PY - 2016/11/16

    Y1 - 2016/11/16

    N2 - © 2015 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.If carbon sequestration is to be a cost-effective substitute for reducing emissions then it must occur under a framework that ensures that the sequestration is additional to what would otherwise have occurred, the carbon is stored permanently, and any leakage is properly accounted for. We discuss significant challenges in meeting these requirements, including some not previously recognized. Although we focus on sequestration in soil, many of the issues covered are applicable to all types of sequestration. The common-practice method for determining additionality achieves its intention of reducing transaction costs in the short term but not in the medium to long term. Its design results in the least costly, additional abatement-measures being excluded from policy support and fails to address how, in the case of sequestration, revisions to the additionality of sequestering practices should apply not just to the future, but in theory, also retrospectively. Permanence is sometimes approximated as 100 years of sequestration. Re-release of sequestered carbon after this will not only reverse the sequestration, but may raise atmospheric carbon to higher levels than they would have been if the sequestration had never occurred. Leakage associated with sequestration practices can accumulate over time to exceed the total level of sequestration; nonetheless, adoption of such practices can be attractive to landholders, even when they are required to pay for this leakage at contemporary prices. Policy relevance Globally, much has been written and claimed about the ability to offset emissions with sequestration. The Australian Government plans to use sequestration to source much of the abatement required to reach its emissions targets. Designing effective policy for sequestration will be challenging politically, and will involve substantial transaction costs. Compromises in policy design intended to make sequestration attractive and reduce transaction costs can render i

    AB - © 2015 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.If carbon sequestration is to be a cost-effective substitute for reducing emissions then it must occur under a framework that ensures that the sequestration is additional to what would otherwise have occurred, the carbon is stored permanently, and any leakage is properly accounted for. We discuss significant challenges in meeting these requirements, including some not previously recognized. Although we focus on sequestration in soil, many of the issues covered are applicable to all types of sequestration. The common-practice method for determining additionality achieves its intention of reducing transaction costs in the short term but not in the medium to long term. Its design results in the least costly, additional abatement-measures being excluded from policy support and fails to address how, in the case of sequestration, revisions to the additionality of sequestering practices should apply not just to the future, but in theory, also retrospectively. Permanence is sometimes approximated as 100 years of sequestration. Re-release of sequestered carbon after this will not only reverse the sequestration, but may raise atmospheric carbon to higher levels than they would have been if the sequestration had never occurred. Leakage associated with sequestration practices can accumulate over time to exceed the total level of sequestration; nonetheless, adoption of such practices can be attractive to landholders, even when they are required to pay for this leakage at contemporary prices. Policy relevance Globally, much has been written and claimed about the ability to offset emissions with sequestration. The Australian Government plans to use sequestration to source much of the abatement required to reach its emissions targets. Designing effective policy for sequestration will be challenging politically, and will involve substantial transaction costs. Compromises in policy design intended to make sequestration attractive and reduce transaction costs can render i

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84939528586&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1080/14693062.2015.1075372

    DO - 10.1080/14693062.2015.1075372

    M3 - Article

    VL - 16

    SP - 973

    EP - 992

    JO - Climate Policy

    JF - Climate Policy

    SN - 1469-3062

    IS - 8

    ER -