Shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs) enable a systematic exploration of the challenges to adaptation and mitigation that alternative futures entail. However, these alternative futures are primarily defined for the global scale and feature coarse sector analysis. This paper builds on the recent development of five qualitative forest sector pathways by incorporating these narratives in a multi-stage multi-model approach to analyze the quantitative impacts on the global and New Zealand forest sectors through 2100. Using assumed variations in income and population growth, wood product demand, technological change, and land use and environmental policy instruments across the different pathways over time, we estimate the changes to key sector outputs such timber prices, roundwood production, forest area, and carbon sequestration pathways. Results indicate global roundwood prices and production could increase between 0.1% and 1.3% per annum depending on the pathway, with larger variations in global forest area and carbon sequestration. Downscaling global SSP assumptions to New Zealand level reveals similar trends, especially for the SSP1 and SSP5 cases that have high economic growth and increased demand for wood products. The expectation that the country will continue to promote relatively strong land use regulations, incentivize afforestation and resulting carbon sequestration between 2015 and 2100 in all but the most pessimistic pathway (SSP3). As a result, New Zealand is likely to see at least a 50% increase in planted forests, timber production, and forest carbon sequestration over the next century. This expansion could make the country’s land use sector a net greenhouse gas sink by 2030 while also reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment losses.
Journal of Forest Economics, Volume 34, Issue 3-4 Special issue - State of the art methods to project forest carbon stocks: Articles Overiew
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