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NEWS RELEASE No: 1556423 JULY 2012

Report highlights importance of comparing costs of greenhouse gas-reduction measures in UK forestry

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A forest landscape where trees are the dominant component of the local landscape character

A new research report published by the Forestry Commission analyses evidence of the cost-effectiveness of UK forestry measures for climate change mitigation.

Comparing the cost-effectiveness of different climate change mitigation measures is essential in minimising the cost of meeting national greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The report, entitled "Marginal Abatement Cost Curves for UK Forestry", focuses upon the costs of different measures and their potential to reduce emissions or sequester greenhouse gases. These can be depicted using a Marginal Abatement Cost Curve.

Previous studies have shown that UK forestry measures are generally highly cost-effective by comparison with government estimates of the social value of carbon used in policy appraisal. However, estimates are sensitive to a range of factors, including the species planted, forest management regime, environmental conditions, co-benefits and methodology adopted.

This review provides a comparison of previous approaches and underlying presumptions, and summarises the current approach to cost-effectiveness analysis for policy appraisal and evaluation recommended in government guidance. It also provides recommendations for future studies.

The report was written by Gregory Valatin of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Research agency, and will be of particular value to researchers, economists, policy-makers and opinion formers.

It is available only as an unpriced PDF publication for downloading from the publications pages of the Forestry Commission website, Hard copies are not available, and the stock code is FCRP019.


  1. The Forestry Commission is the government department for forestry in Great Britain. It works to improves the lives of people through the many benefits which sustainably managed trees, woods and forests can provide.
  2. Forest Research is an agency of the Forestry Commission which undertakes world-class scientific research and technical development relevant to forestry for a range of internal and external clients. See

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