A Comparison of Japanese, Canadian, and EU Policies on Forest Carbon Sinks

This report compares the approaches of the governments of Japan, Canada, and the European Union member countries toward using carbon sinks to meet their respective Kyoto Protocol carbon reduction targets. Various policies have been proposed by which governments can sequester carbon by promoting afforestation and reforestation, slowing deforestation, and undertaking forest management activities under Articles 3.3 and 3.4. Japan appears most likely to rely most heavily on forest and biological sinks to meet its Kyoto targets. For Canada, sinks are likely to play a rather modest role. For the EU, the role of sinks is likely to be even smaller, with sinks playing no role for some EU countries (including Sweden, our case study country). Although some of the details of various carbon emissions reduction programs have been worked out, the authors point out how concrete definitions are often still lacking, especially as regards impermanence of forests, additionality, leakage, and socioeconomic and environmental impacts.