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Tropical reforestation and avoided deforestation are efficient, cost effective land based strategies

The net carbon balance of a plantation is undoubtedly beneficial to the stabilization of atmospheric CO2.

Reforestation and avoided deforestation in the tropics are the most efficient and cost effective land-based options to reduce carbon emissions. The climate benefits of forest plantations in boreal and mid-latitudes can be reduced by the biophyical changes such as surface reflectance (albedo) of plantations which tend to absorb more energy resulting in a warming of the climate locally (Bala et al. 2006).

Carbon offset projects that avoid carbon emissions

A report issued by the Royal Society in 2001, The role of land carbon sinks in mitigating global climate change, recommends that projects designed to enhance land carbon sinks not be allowed to divert resources from long-term reductions in the emissions of fossil fuel. They cited the relatively small amount of carbon that can be sequestered in relation to the quantity of CO2 being emitted, the finite size and duration of potential carbon sequestration and the technical barriers to reliable monitoring of sequestration achieved (The Royal Society 2001).

Bala G, Caldeira K, Mirin A, Wickett M, Delire C, Phillips TJ (2006) Biogeophysical effects of CO2 fertilization on global climate. Tellus Series B-Chemical and Physical Meteorology 58:620-627
The Royal Society (2001) The role of land carbon sinks in mitigating global climate change. Policy document 10/01