Carbon Sequestration via Tree Planting on Agricultural Lands: An Economic Study of Costs and Policy Design Alternatives

This draft technical paper looks at the potential expansion of forested acres on current agricultural lands by planting trees. In this study, two issues are examined. First, the authors examine the relationship between the volume of carbon sequestered by tree planting activities and the subsidy paid. Second, they examine how provisions of agreements designed to stimulate tree planting on agricultural lands affect program cost and net carbon sequestration. The paper studies how provisions restricting harvest on sequestered lands and provisions regarding deforestation on existing forest lands affect the cost and net carbon gains under a sequestration program. The paper goes on to investigate design aspects of the tree planting subsidy program regarding the effects of subsidizing acreage versus potential carbon productivity.