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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 4, p. 1518-1524
     
    Received: May 15, 2005


    * Corresponding author(s): rbirdsey@fs.fed.us
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doi:10.2134/jeq2005.0193

Carbon Accounting Rules and Guidelines for the United States Forest Sector

  1. Richard A. Birdsey *
  1. USDA Forest Service, 11 Campus Boulevard, Suite 200, Newtown Square, PA 19073

Abstract

The United States Climate Change Initiative includes improvements to the U.S. Department of Energy's Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The program includes specific accounting rules and guidelines for reporting and registering forestry activities that reduce atmospheric CO2 by increasing carbon sequestration or reducing emissions. In the forestry sector, there is potential for the economic value of emissions credits to provide increased income for landowners, to support rural development, to facilitate the practice of sustainable forest management, and to support restoration of ecosystems. Forestry activities with potential for achieving substantial reductions include, but are not limited to: afforestation, mine land reclamation, forest restoration, agroforestry, forest management, short-rotation biomass energy plantations, forest protection, wood production, and urban forestry. To be eligible for registration, the reported reductions must use methods and meet standards contained in the guidelines. Forestry presents some unique challenges and opportunities because of the diversity of activities, the variety of practices that can affect greenhouse gases, year-to-year variability in emissions and sequestration, the effects of activities on different forest carbon pools, and accounting for the effects of natural disturbance.

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