Understanding greenhouse gas mitigation potential of the U.S. agriculture and forest sectors is critical for evaluating potential pathways to limit global average temperatures from rising more than 2⁰C. Using the FASOMGHG model, parameterized to reflect varying conditions across shared socioeconomic pathways, we project the greenhouse gas mitigation potential from U.S. agriculture and forestry across a range of carbon price scenarios. Under a moderate price scenario ($20 per ton CO2 with a 3% annual growth rate), cumulative mitigation potential over 2015 – 2055 varies substantially across SSPs, from 8.3 to 17.7 GtCO2e. Carbon sequestration in forests contributes the majority, 64 - 71%, of total mitigation across both sectors. We show that under a high income and population growth scenario over 60% of the total projected increase in forest carbon is driven by growth in demand for forest products, while mitigation incentives result in the remainder. This research sheds light on the interactions between alternative socioeconomic narratives and mitigation policy incentives which can help prioritize outreach, investment, and targeted policies for reducing emissions from and storing more carbon in these land use systems.
Projecting the impact of socioeconomic and policy factors on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration in U.S. forestry and agriculture
Wade, C. M., Baker, J. S., Jones, J. P. H., Austin, K., Cai, Y., Bean de Hernandez, A., Latta, G. S., Ohrel, S. B., Ragnauth, S., Creason, J., & McCarl, B. A. (2022). Projecting the impact of socioeconomic and policy factors on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration in U.S. forestry and agriculture. Journal of Forest Economics, 37(1), 127-161. https://doi.org/10.1561/112.00000545