A modified production possibility frontier for efficient forestry management under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme

Carbon sequestered through increased forest biomass provides a low cost means to curb emissions and has become a major focus of New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme. We present a forest planning optimisation model where land use is governed by forest owners maximising the returns to both timber harvest and carbon sequestration. By varying carbon prices, we model efficient trade-offs between the two forest activities along a modified production possibility frontier for four distinct wood supply regions in New Zealand. Results show that while more productive regions such as the Central North Island (CNI) and Northland have a greater capacity as a carbon sink, it is the less productive regions that have a comparative advantage in carbon sequestration in terms of a lower cost of wood production revenue foregone. However, moderate increases in carbon uptake can be achieved in the CNI at low opportunity cost by subtle changes in forestry management. The implication for policy-makers is that initial increases in carbon sequestration will be achieved at the lowest cost to society by favouring high volume timber production in some productive woodland areas and/or by more carbon farming in less productive areas.

Issue Date:
Publication Type:
Journal Article
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
Published in:
Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 59, 1
Page range:

 Record created 2018-11-16, last modified 2020-10-28

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)