Natural climate solutions (NCS) are conservation, restoration, and improved land management actions that increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). These actions are an important part of the efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change, but it is not always clear which types of natural climate solutions are most impactful, what the costs are relative to the benefits, and what strategies are appropriate for different groups of stakeholders. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is working in the Pacific Northwest to identify and incentivize cost-effective NCS pathways in private forests that would lead to the greatest increases in carbon storage or avoided GHG emissions. This project aims to inform TNC’s NCS strategies by providing an economic assessment of both the benefits and costs of various forest management strategies in Western Washington and Oregon. The work will be conducted by a research team at the Environmental Markets Lab (emLab) at UCSB, led by Professor Andrew Plantinga.
The key objective of this analysis is to quantify both the potential for carbon sequestration and the associated cost of implementation for a range of management strategies to inform investment decisions regarding these types of interventions. This analysis will examine the cost-effectiveness of different strategies, and identify those that are cost prohibitive or unproductive. Identifying the financing/cost needs for these types of interventions is a key input into determining the financing mechanisms or incentives for different NCS interventions. Importantly, we will also look across different kinds of land owners and evaluate which strategies are most promising for each stakeholder.