Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Achieving national scale targets for carbon seq...

Electronic data

  • accepted_pre_print

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Environmental Science and Policy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Environmental Science and Policy, 124, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2021.06.023

    Accepted author manuscript, 3.54 MB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 8/07/22

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Links

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Achieving national scale targets for carbon sequestration through afforestation: Geospatial assessment of feasibility and policy implications

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/10/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Science and Policy
Volume124
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)279-292
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date8/07/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

To explore the feasibility of meeting recently proposed large-scale tree planting targets, a UK wide assessment of land available for afforestation was carried out, considering a range of physical, environmental and policy constraints in three hypothetical planting scenarios. Results show there is sufficient space to meet these targets in all three scenarios, even if planting is prevented on good to moderate quality agricultural land and within protected areas. However, this would require planting on a large proportion of unconstrained land, especially for the more ambitious targets, which is unevenly distributed across the UK. This would limit opportunities for spatially targeting woodland creation, which may restrict the provision of additional ecosystem services such as air pollution control and recreation, and induce widespread negative impacts on landscapes and communities. In order to overcome these limitations, relaxing constraints, such as permitting afforestation of higher quality agricultural land, will need to be considered. Meeting many of the proposed afforestation targets would result in a transformational change in British land cover, which could replace or significantly impact the business models of tens of thousands of farms, and see the replacement of hundreds of thousands to millions of hectares of grassland, arable and horticultural land and other land covers. This would require rates of planting that far exceed those seen historically. Policies and mechanisms that could be used to encourage this planting, both by the state and private sectors, are discussed.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Environmental Science and Policy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Environmental Science and Policy, 124, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2021.06.023