Spatial and Temporal Responses to an Emissions Trading System Covering Agriculture and Forestry: Simulation Results from New Zealand

Please note that an updated version of this paper was published in Forests 3:4, pp. 1133-56.

We perform simulations using the integrated Land Use in Rural New Zealand (LURNZ) model to analyse the effect of various New Zealand emissions trading scheme (ETS) scenarios on land-use, emissions, and output in a temporally and spatially explicit manner. We compare the impact of afforestation to the impact of other land-use change on net greenhouse gas emissions, and evaluate the importance of the forestry component of the ETS relative to the agricultural component. We also examine the effect of land-use change on the time profile of net emissions from the forestry sector.

Our projections for the mid-2020s suggest that under a comprehensive ETS, sequestration associated with new planting could be significant; it may approach 20 percent of national inventory agricultural emissions in 2008. Most of this is driven by the reward for forestry rather than a liability for agricultural emissions. Finally, we present projections of future agricultural output under various policy scenarios.