Article publication « The Loop Effect: How Climate Change Impacts the Mitigation Potential of the French Forest Sector » by Philippe Delacote, Antonello Lobianco, Sylvain Caurla, Jean-Daniel Bontemps, Anna Lungarska, Pierre Mérian and Ahmed Barkaoui in Journal of Forest Economics review.
Volume 36, Forthcoming: 31 Jul 2021
Objectives: Evaluate the capacity of temperate forest resources to both provide climate change mitigation and to sustain the downstream timber sector explicitly considering the cascade of biophysical and economic drivers (in particular, climate change impacts and subsequent adaptation actions) and their uncertainty. Methodology: A recursive bio-economic model of French forest resources, management, and timber markets has been coupled for this study with spatial statistical models of forest response to climate change long-term scenarios and land-use change. Main Results: (a) Climate change impacts on tree mortality are greater than those on tree growth variations; (b) Due to increasing competition with agriculture, climate change may reverse current trends in forest area expansion; (c) Due to rising average tree sizes, volume growth strongly declines over time and may eventually cease within the next century; (d) Future climate change impacts already have strong consequences on today’s forest investment profitability; (e) The relative importance of forest substitution over forest sequestration increases as the timeframe increases; (f) While the forest sector has the potential to counterbalance a significant share of the national carbon emissions, this potential is threatened by climate change and the need to adapt to it. Profit-driven forest management does increase mitigation; (g) Uncertainty derived from using different climatic models over the same IPCC storyline has the same order of magnitude as the uncertainty derived from using the same climatic model under different storylines.