The economic value of carbon storage associated with British woodland is calculated. Models were developed to estimate C flux associated with live trees, forest floor litter, soils, wood products, harvest, fossil fuel used in manufacturing and C displacement from biofuels and products for representative British plantation species: Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and beech (Fagus sylvatica). Map databases of publicly and privately owned woodlands were compiled for Great Britain. Carbon flux was determined for individual woodland sites, and monetised using candidate parameters for the social discount rate (1, 3, 3.5 or 5%) and social value of carbon (US$109.5, $1, $10 or $17.10/t). A conventional discount function was applied. Final results are expressed as Net Present Values, for the base year 2001, with discounting commencing in 2002. The minimum suggested NPV (discount rate = 3% and social value of carbon = $1) of GB woodlands already existing in 2001 is $82 million, with a further $72 million that might be added by future afforestation. These figures rise dramatically if a discount rate of 1% and social value of sequestered carbon = $109.5/t are assumed. The calculated total value of C stored in British woodland depends significantly on parameter assumptions, especially about appropriate discount rate and social value of sequestered carbon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1257-1267
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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