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Chevassus-Au-Louis B.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Pirard R.,Institute du developpement durable et des relations internationales IDDRI
Revue Forestiere Francaise | Year: 2011

Forest ecosystem services, particularly those that do not give rise to commodity transactions, have been extensively studied in the last fifteen years so as to characterise, quantify and estimate their monetary value. These studies yield very diverse estimates due to the different types of forests studied, the methods of evaluation used and the content itself of the notion of ecosystem services. We deal with this latter aspect in Part I of the article. After clarifying the differences between ecosystem services, ecological services and environmental services, we show that the notion of "benefits derived from ecosystems", which is often used to deal with economic assessments of services, in fact covers, particularly in man-managed ecosystems such as temperate forests, contributions that derive both from "ecological capital" and "human capital". We conclude by underlining, on the one hand, the practical relevance of these distinctions and, on the other, the complexity of the relations between these ecosystem services and biodiversity. Part II presents a summary of available monetary value estimates for services provided by French forests. This summary places special emphasis on the importance of regulation services (carbon fixation, influence on the water cycle and the quality of the water resources, erosion control, etc.) in spite of the fact that we do not currently have estimated monetary values for all of these services. Cultural values, namely recreational ones, also appear on average to be more significant than timber production. In total, all the services evaluated are thought to represent some five times the value of timber production alone. However, this average estimate provides just an order of magnitude for the importance of these services; not only does it integrate just some services and considers use values alone, it furthermore needs to be developed so as to take into account the diversity of local contexts, be they ecological or socio-economic. In Part III, we broach the issue of possible payment ecosystem services; after describing the various possible uses (which in practice are rarely encountered) for these economic assessments of the services, we detail the concept of "payment for ecosystem services" (PES) which can be construed either as a general principle for action (the legitimacy of compensating a service provider in one way or another), or as a specific economic and legal instrument (e.g., and according to the more common definition, as a voluntary, explicit contract setting out the conditions of payment of one or several beneficiaries and one or several suppliers of services who are named). We stress the fact that the number of cases that follow the second definition is very smatl in practice. Two case studies relating to tropical forests in Costa Rica and Indonesia are then presented, leading us to the conclusion that the evaluation of PES is the outcome of multiple economic, social and political considerations that very rarely include the estimated monetary values of these services as presented in Part II. The concluding section reviews the various controversies relating to economic assessment and the possibility of paying for ecosystem services. It is suggested that a clear distinction should be made between the realms of legitimacy, feasibility and, finally, of applicability. Emphasis is placed on the fact that the road towards effective compensation for these services is no doubt still a very long one. Source


Colombier M.,Institute du developpement durable et des relations internationales IDDRI | Li J.,CIRED
Climate Policy | Year: 2012

What are relevant urban development investment strategies for improving building energy efficiency (BEE) and decarbonizing the urban district heating supply in rapidly urbanizing China? Different trajectories of BEE and energy supply technologies are compared in the urban context in a northern Chinese city. Vigorous improvement of BEE will significantly enhance the prospective financial capacity to facilitate deployment of backstop technologies (e.g. carbon capture and storage) in order to decarbonize the energy supply and achieve the long-term targets of low-carbon buildings. Carbon finance instruments should be used to facilitate public policy to accompany the necessary transition in the urban development process. The government-run efficiency procurement scheme will overcome the problem of insufficient incentive and high transaction costs associated with individual Clean Development Mechanism projects. Appropriate investment strategies (allocation of financial resources over the time frame) will allow local governments to harness the large potentials of carbon emissions mitigation while minimizing the risk of long-term technical lock-in in the built environment in Chinese cities. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source


Wang X.,Institute du developpement durable et des relations internationales IDDRI | Wang X.,Lille University of Science and Technology
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

A transparent and comprehensive statistical system in China would provide an important basis for enabling a better understanding of the country. This paper focuses on energy intensity (EI), which is one of the most important indicators of China. It firstly reviews China's GDP and energy statistics, showing that China has made great improvements in recent years. The means by which EI data are released and adjusted are then explained. It shows that EI data releases do not provide complete data for calculating EI and constant GDP, which may reduce policy transparency and comprehensiveness. This paper then conducts an EI calculation method that is based on official sources and that respects the data availability of different data release times. It finds that, in general, China's EI statistics can be considered as reliable because most of the results generated by author's calculations match the figures in the official releases. However, two data biases were identified, which may necessitate supplementary information on related constant GDP values used in the official calculation of EI data. The paper concludes by proposing short- and long-term measures for improving EI statistics to provide a transparent and comprehensive EI indicator. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Wang X.,Institute du developpement durable et des relations internationales IDDRI
Energy Economics | Year: 2012

Considering the dual context of China's domestic willingness to have a cleaner export structure and the widespread concern among developed countries that carbon leakage from developing countries, particularly China, could threaten their own climate policy effectiveness; this paper uses the SICGE model to investigate the economic rationale of taxing direct CO 2 emissions of export in China. With an export carbon tax set at 200 yuan/t CO 2, three policy scenarios were studied, where the tax revenue is: undistributed; redistributed neutrally to stimulate investment; and redistributed neutrally to stimulate consumption. According to the model, the economic and climate effects of the different policy scenarios are not particularly distinguishable. The economic impacts are slightly negative while the effect on the export structure is significant: the export of major energy-intensive products decreased and the export of certain sectors (labour-intensive or with higher value-added) increased, resulting in a cut of 3.77% in total direct CO 2 emissions from exports. The revenue redistribution to stimulate consumption is shown to be the optimal scenario choice, which was confirmed by further sensitivity tests. By reviewing related WTO laws, this paper concludes that a clearly designed export carbon tax with a comparable carbon price is in China's own interest, while lessening the carbon leakage concerns of developed countries. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source


Desbureaux S.,University dAuvergne | Desbureaux S.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Brimont L.,Institute du developpement durable et des relations internationales IDDRI
Ecological Economics | Year: 2015

This paper exhibits the multiple dimensions of the cost of stopping the main driver of deforestation in Madagascar, slash-and-burn agriculture (tavy). As well as being a major component of the economic livelihoods of most local households living at the edge of forests, tavy has been described by anthropologists as an important cultural practice. In this paper, we show that stopping tavy does not only entail an economic cost for local households. The loss of the cultural dimension of tavy would come at an additional "cultural cost" for some. Our results suggest that a viable cessation of deforestation in Madagascar would require going beyond simple compensation of the opportunity costs of avoiding deforestation. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.. Source

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