Friday, November 18, 2011

The carbon economy of logging native forests and CO2 reduction

An interesting seminar was held at the Australian National University on November 10, 2011 on logging of native forests and the timeframe for dealing with CO2 emissions for climate policy. The seminar was given by Dr Judith Ajani, an economist at the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society and the author of The Forest Wars (MUP 2007). She examines both sides of the debate regarding logging of native forests and whether native forests should be used for bioenergy or biodiversity.

Her approach is firmly grounded in econometrics, and the biodiversity value in native forests is not fully represented in her arguments. Despite that, she makes a convincing case that native old growth forests should not be logged as they cannot give a return on carbon sequestration or emission reduction over the timeframe when the most action is required - the next 50 years.