Land-Based Climate Solutions: Variable Responses to Economic Incentives
As the world seeks to simultaneously confront climate change, conserve biodiversity and end hunger, policymakers will need to influence the way individuals use and manage the earth’s land surface. One common policy proposal is to create market incentives that encourage private landowners to internalize climate impacts in their land-use decision making. Such incentives could encourage a variety of land-based climate solutions, including reduced deforestation, increased afforestation, or enhanced soil carbon sequestration through changes in agricultural practices. However, economic, institutional, political and cultural differences are likely to affect the outcomes generated by economic incentives. These differential land use outcomes will lead to a range of implications for local biodiversity, agricultural production, and food prices. Unfortunately, relatively little evidence exists on the scale of this variation, or its implication for climate change mitigation. To fill this gap, CMI is collaborating with the Environmental Market Solutions Lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara (emLab) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) on a series of econometric analyses quantifying the scale to which land-use change responds to market signals, and how that response changes across the world.