REDD in the carbon market: A general equilibrium analysis

Francesco Bosello, Ramiro Parrado, Renato Rosa, Fabio Eboli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Deforestation is a major source of CO2 emissions, accounting for around 17 % of annual anthropogenic carbon release. While costs estimates of reducing deforestation vary depending on model assumptions, it is widely accepted that emissions reductions from avoided deforestation consist of a relatively low cost mitigation option. Halting deforestation is therefore not only a major ecological challenge, but a great opportunity to cost effectively reduce climate change impacts. In this paper, we analyze the impact of introducing avoided deforestation credits into the European carbon market using a multiregional Computable General Equilibrium model. Taking into account political concerns over possible “flooding” of credits from reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), limits to the number of these allowances are considered. Finally, we account for both direct and indirect effects occurring on land and timber markets resulting from lower deforestation rates. We conclude that avoided deforestation notably reduces climate change policy costs—approximately by 80 % with unlimited availability of REDD credits—and may drastically reduce carbon prices. Policy makers may effectively control for this imposing limits to REDD credits use. Moreover, avoided deforestation has the additional positive effect of reducing carbon leakage of a unilateral European climate change policy. This is good news for the EU, but not necessarily for REDD regions. We show that REDD revenues are not sufficient to compensate REDD regions for a less leakage-affected and more competitive EU in international markets. In fact, REDD regions would prefer to free ride on the EU unilateral mitigation policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-115
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Modeling and Assessment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


  • Avoided deforestation
  • Climate change
  • Emission trading
  • Forestry
  • General equilibrium modeling


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