Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/2009
Publication Date: 8/21/2009
Citation: Reicosky, D.C. 2009. Update of Carbon Market Programs in North America. In: Proceedings of XVII Congress of AAPRESID, August 19-21, 2009, Rosario, Argentina. p. 73-78.
Technical Abstract: Increased levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) in the atmosphere require all nations to establish international and national goals and policies for GHG reductions. Most climate scientists say that the targets set in the Kyoto Protocol are merely scratching the surface of the problem. The agreement aims to reduce emissions from industrialized nations only by around 5%. The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has strengthened the international response to climate change; however, it will need to be replaced with new policies. Complete implementation of the Kyoto Protocol requires policy changes to increase the acceptance of and provide financial incentives for C sequestration and the associated benefits. Our current understanding of the role of the biosphere in the global C balance, however, may not be adequate to support policy decisions satisfactorily. The potential and actual C sequestration results may still be unknown and difficult to determine. Volunteer carbon trading markets are playing a vital role as we transition toward compliance. The new policies being developed in the US are a major step forward in realizing a comprehensive C accounting system for the earth, but we continually need to improve our understanding of the terrestrial biosphere and soil sinks. Accepting the challenges of maintaining food security by incorporating C storage in conservation planning demonstrates concern for our global resources and our willingness to work in harmony with nature.