Land Use & Global Climate Change: Forests, Land Management, and the Kyoto Protocol

This paper explores land use and forestry (LULUCF) activities from a variety of policy perspectives. The authors look at whether LULUCF activities provide the same long-term benefit for the climate system as does reducing emissions from fossil-fuel combustion. In addition, they sketch the development of international negotiations on LULUCF issues, look at the consensus negotiated so far on this issue, and examine the ambiguities of the Kyoto Protocol, the issues yet to be resolved, and the decisions yet to be made before the Protocol can serve as an effective international instrument. Finally, the authors make the case that an effective policy instrument would encourage countries to manage the terrestrial biosphere in a way that minimizes net emissions of greenhouse gases while serving other goals such as sustainable development.