Carbon and Land Use Model (CALM)
The Carbon and Land Use Model (CALM) links an econometric discrete choice model of land use conversions with a carbon storage model that predicts carbon dynamics due to land use change.
About the Model
The land sector, including agriculture, forestry, and other land uses, is critical storer of carbon and provides important opportunities for cost-effective mitigation of carbon emissions; globally, the land sector could contribute to as much as twenty percent of carbon emissions reductions necessary to meet international emissions reduction commitments. However, the cost-effectiveness of land sector climate mitigation policies (e.g. carbon payments or subsidies for tree planting) depends on how landowners respond to changes in the relative returns to various land uses, and the consequences for carbon emissions over time.
The Carbon and Land Use Model (CALM) links an econometric discrete choice model of land use conversions with a carbon storage model that predicts carbon dynamics due to land use change. The discrete choice model predicts county-level land use conversion rates based on county-level returns across six broad land use categories, and enables simulation of how land use might change in the future under varying policy scenarios. The carbon model accounts for carbon flux due to all major carbon-relevant changes, including land use changes, timber harvesting, vegetation growth, wildfire, and other disturbances. Combined, CALM allows RFF researchers to estimate the costs of carbon sequestration through incentive-based policies targeted at the land sector.