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Abatement and Transaction Costs of Carbon-Sink Projects Involving Smallholders








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    Smallholder agroforestry projects: Potential for carbon sequestration and poverty alleviation 2003
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    This paper provides an assessment of the potential for small-holder agro-forestry projects to be competitive in markets for carbon emission reduction credits, and explores the ways in which small-holder participation in such markets may be facilitated. The paper begins with an overview of the issue of global warming and the role of carbon sinks in mitigating climate change. Then an economic model of the carbon emission reduction (CER) market is presented, which includes the impact of transaction s costs. An in-depth survey of the economic literature on transactions costs and their implications in the design of markets for CER follows. An assessment of the emission abatement and transaction costs likely to be associated with smallholder agro-forestry projects is presented, based on case study information from Latin America and Indonesia. The paper concludes with policy recommendations on how to design carbon sequestration projects to benefit small-holders and suggests institutional refor ms which will be necessary for reducing the transactions costs associated with small-holder participation in the market. The paper also includes a detailed annex with information on carbon sequestration projects involving small-holders which are already under implementation.
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    A comprehensive quantification of global nitrous oxide sources and sinks
    Nature, published on 07 October 2020, Volume 586, pages 248–256
    2020
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    Nitrous oxide (N2O), like carbon dioxide, is a long-lived greenhouse gas that accumulates in the atmosphere. Over the past 150 years, increasing atmospheric N2O concentrations have contributed to stratospheric ozone depletion1 and climate change2, with the current rate of increase estimated at 2 per cent per decade. Existing national inventories do not provide a full picture of N2O emissions, owing to their omission of natural sources and limitations in methodology for attributing anthropogenic sources. Here we present a global N2O inventory that incorporates both natural and anthropogenic sources and accounts for the interaction between nitrogen additions and the biochemical processes that control N2O emissions. We use bottom-up (inventory, statistical extrapolation of flux measurements, process based land and ocean modelling) and top-down (atmospheric inversion) approaches to provide a comprehensive quantification of global N2O sources and sinks resulting from 21 natural and human sectors between 1980 and 2016. Global N2O emissions were 17.0 (minimum–maximum estimates: 12.2–23.5) teragrams of nitrogen per year (bottom-up) and 16.9 (15.9–17.7) teragrams of nitrogen per year (top-down) between 2007 and 2016. Global human-induced emissions, which are dominated by nitrogen additions to croplands, increased by 30% over the past four decades to 7.3 (4.2–11.4) teragrams of nitrogen per year. This increase was mainly responsible for the growth in the atmospheric burden. Our findings point to growing N2O emissions in emerging economies—particularly Brazil, China and India. Analysis of process-based model estimates reveals an emerging N2O–climate feedback resulting from interactions between nitrogen additions and climate change. The recent growth in N2O emissions exceeds some of the highest projected emission scenarios3,4, underscoring the urgency to mitigate N2O emissions.
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    The consolidated European synthesis of CO2 emissions and removals for the European Union and United Kingdom: 1990–2018 2021
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    Reliable quantification of the sources and sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), including that of their trends and uncertainties, is essential to monitoring the progress in mitigating anthropogenic emissions under the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. This study provides a consolidated synthesis of estimates for all anthropogenic and natural sources and sinks of CO2 for the European Union and UK (EU27 + UK), derived from a combination of state-of-the-art bottom-up (BU) and top-down (TD) data sources and models. Given the wide scope of the work and the variety of datasets involved, this study focuses on identifying essential questions which need to be answered to properly understand the differences between various datasets, in particular with regards to the less-well-characterized fluxes from managed ecosystems. The work integrates recent emission inventory data, process-based ecosystem model results, data-driven sector model results and inverse modeling estimates over the period 1990–2018. BU and TD products are compared with European national greenhouse gas inventories (NGHGIs) reported under the UNFCCC in 2019, aiming to assess and understand the differences between approaches. For the uncertainties in NGHGIs, we used the standard deviation obtained by varying parameters of inventory calculations, reported by the member states following the IPCC Guidelines. Variation in estimates produced with other methods, like atmospheric inversion models (TD) or spatially disaggregated inventory datasets (BU), arises from diverse sources including within-model uncertainty related to parameterization as well as structural differences between models. In comparing NGHGIs with other approaches, a key source of uncertainty is that related to different system boundaries and emission categories (CO2 fossil) and the use of different land use definitions for reporting emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) activities (CO2 land). At the EU27 + UK level, the NGHGI (2019) fossil CO2 emissions (including cement production) account for 2624 Tg CO2 in 2014 while all the other seven bottom-up sources are consistent with the NGHGIs and report a mean of 2588 (± 463 Tg CO2). The inversion reports 2700 Tg CO2 (± 480 Tg CO2), which is well in line with the national inventories. Over 2011–2015, the CO2 land sources and sinks from NGHGI estimates report −90 Tg C yr−1 ±  30 Tg C yr−1 while all other BU approaches report a mean sink of −98 Tg C yr−1 (± 362 Tg of C from dynamic global vegetation models only).

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