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Products and Outcomes

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RFF’s Forest Carbon Initiative produces three different types of concrete products and outcomes. Each is discussed below.

Policy Briefs

RFF researchers prepare short papers for policymakers on key forest carbon policy questions. These policy briefs are written for and disseminated to senior-level decisionmakers in the United States and globally. Topics are selected to advance the five strategies of the program.

Foundational Research

Decisionmakers tasked with designing ways to incorporate forest carbon into climate policy frameworks face numerous challenges. They are more likely to craft the right solutions if they have access to high quality, timely, and action-oriented empirical research. RFF conducts extensive basic foundational research targeted at climate change and forestry experts inside and outside of government.

RFF’s foundational research includes country-level and global modeling of the compliance carbon market as well as the markets for food, fiber, and fuel that would be affected by forest carbon policies. Improved and deepened studies of location-specific forest carbon asset supply curves, as well as the exogenous and endogenous drivers of land rental values in alternative uses (forest, grazing, cropland, for example), are important new components of these models. Analytic studies addressing permanence, leakage, and asset quality are required as well as combined empirical and analytical studies addressing monitoring and baselines, and the specific design of in-country forest preservation and enhancement policies.

Market Reports

It is important to encourage private sector decisionmaking and help improve forest carbon investment practices to minimize the risk that early voluntary market experiences discredit proposals to include forest carbon in emissions-mitigation policy frameworks. RFF prepares and disseminates special reports for forest carbon market players and policymakers. These reports not only illuminate facts and trends in today’s voluntary market but also anticipate future developments in tomorrow’s compliance markets for forest carbon assets. These market reports inform policymakers while also providing actionable investment information now.

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