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Agriculture Climate Forests

Building Carbon in America’s Farms, Forests, and Grasslands

Foundations for a Policy Roadmap

By Emily McGlynn, Christopher Galik, David Tepper, Jerod Myers, Julie DeMeester - Forest Trends, Forest Trends
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Forest Trends and the Nicholas Institute at Duke University have authored a new report, “Building Carbon in America’s Farms, Forests, and Grasslands: Foundations for a Policy Roadmap.” This innovative assessment offers new analysis to support a long-term roadmap for enhancing the U.S. land carbon sink, ensuring healthy and productive landscapes contribute to greenhouse gas reduction goals. The report is the first deliverable of the Land Carbon Policy Roadmap (LCPR) Initiative.

In the United States, land carbon offsets nearly 15 percent of economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to half of emissions from the transportation sector. However, the future of this sizable “carbon sink” is uncertain. The latest U.S. assessments disagree on whether land will be a sink or a source in the coming decades, which could make all the difference in whether future climate targets are reached. Despite significant research, a complete understanding of policy or market tools capable of bending the trajectory of the carbon sink remains elusive. This report launches a process for understanding the most significant drivers of land carbon change and the policy tools critical for managing land carbon into the future.

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Genevieve Bennett
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