Presentation on theme: "Dr Paul Dargusch Director, CarbonLab Faculty of Science, University of Queensland, Australia The political economy of blue carbon An Australasian value."— Presentation transcript:
Dr Paul Dargusch Director, CarbonLab Faculty of Science, University of Queensland, Australia The political economy of blue carbon An Australasian value chain perspective Photo: Mark Hopgood
About Us The political economy of blue carbon An Australasia value chain perspective My teaching and research groups at the University of Queensland is called the Carbon Lab Our group has a specific interest in how we can facilitate the development of carbon offset projects that support sustainable management of forest and marine ecosystems. Our work borrows from the fields of political economy, political ecology, ecological economics, value chain analysis and systems thinking. Our work has been funded through grants (totalling more than US$6 million ) from the Australian Research Council, the World Bank and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
Selected Publications Dargusch, P. and Smith, C. (2012). Mainstreaming systems science. Science. (337) : Dargusch, P. and Thomas, S. (2012). A critical role for carbon offsets. Nature Climate Change. 2 (7): 470. Law, E., Thomas, S., Meijaard, E. Dargusch, P., and Wilson, K. (2012). A modular framework for managing complexity in international forest carbon policy. Nature Climate Change. 2: Thomas, S., Dargusch, P. and Griffiths, A. (2011). The drivers and outcomes of CDM project development in China. Environmental Policy and Governance. 21 (4): Dargusch, P., Maraseni, T. And Schmidt, P. (2010). A review of research on forest-related environmental markets (including certification schemes, bioenergy, carbon markets and other ecosystem services). CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources 5 (22): Thomas, S., Dargusch, P., Harrison, S. and Herbohn, J. (2010). Why are there so few afforestation- based CDM projects? Land Use Policy. 27 (3); McAlpine, C., Laurance, W., Ryan, J., Seabrook, L., Syktus, J., Etter, A., Fearnside, P., Dargusch, P., Pielke, P. and Thomas, S. (2010). More than CO2: A broader picture for managing climate change and variability to avoid ecosystem collapse. Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability. 2: 1-13.
4 Emissions Trading Simulation
Why the interest in blue carbon? Why would businesses be interested in paying for the protection and enhancement of carbon stocks in marine ecosystems? The political economy of blue carbon An Australasia value chain perspective
Carbon Markets and Carbon Offsets 1 tonne of CO2e sequestered or avoided = 1 carbon offset. (1 tonne of C is approximately 3.67tCO2e) Carbon Offset Credit Buyer for compliance (national)/ Voluntary purpose (CSR) The political economy of blue carbon An Australasia value chain perspective Developing Countries Industrialised Countries $ Accepted Standard
A US$140 billion/yr carbon market has emerged
Switch fuels to biodiesel Convert waste to bio-energy Retrofit lighting Switch to hybrid cars Build wind turbine Build PV unit
Permit price Offset price The carbon market is very interested in offsets because they offer a lower cost compliance option.
(Donato et al., 2011) There is a lot of interest in blue carbon because the carbon stocks of some marine ecosystems, like mangroves are particularly large, and this means that offsets might be able to be produced at low cost.
But only < 1% of the carbon offset projects registered or under review globally are ‘green or blue carbon’ projects
Blue Carbon & Carbon Markets ‘Good’ offset projects are commercially challenging - they are less attractive investments than other offset types - transaction costs are high - yields are delayed (as trees grow) - land tenure can be unclear - land availability can be constrained (socially, food security) - methodologies can be complex - managing ecosystems involves long timeframes - getting plants to grow can be technically difficult - compensating people for foregone activities is complicated The political economy of blue carbon An Australasia value chain perspective
How can we fix this? How can we make ‘good’ forms of carbon offsetting, such as Blue Carbon, a more appealing development proposition? The political economy of blue carbon An Australasia value chain perspective
Example: Integrative Landscape Carbon (revealing the ‘value’ of carbon) Key 1 terrestrial reforestation sequestration5 wind power electricity generation 2 avoided emissions using conservation farming6 solar thermal electricity generation 3 seagrass sequestration7 indigenous community reforestation project 4 mangrove reforestation sequestration8 landfill methane flaring Note: Outcomes from different offset projects can be integrated to achieve desired mitigation, cost and sustainability objectives. The cost of offsets to the proponent is the weighted average cost of offsets across all offset activities. The mix of projects can be designed to reduce costs of abatement. The proponent’s social license to operate can be supported by promoting and emphasising the social and ecological benefits of more charismatic offset activities.
Current Projects Australian Research Council - ILC in Australian farming systems ACIAR Catchment Rehabilitation - investigating ILC in Philippines catchments World Bank GEF CCRES - ‘Capturing Coral Reef Ecosystem Services’ - Philippines, Indonesia and Pacific (to be specified) - 3 Components; Component 2 ‘Designing Enterprises’ - Value chain, participatory and systems based approach - Attempting to consider multiple spatial and scales The political economy of blue carbon An Australasia value chain perspective
Merci ! Thank you to the Australian Academy of Sciences for sponsoring this visit. Contact Details: Dr Paul Dargusch Director, CarbonLab University of Queensland Australia The political economy of blue carbon An Australasia value chain perspective