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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

How politics shapes the outcomes of forest carbon finance

Fleischman, Forrest; Basant, Shishir; Fischer, Harry ; Gupta, Divya; Lopez, Gustavo Garcia; Kashwan, Prakash; Powers, Jennifer S.; Ramprasad, Vijay; Rana, Pushpendra; Rastogi, Archi; Solorzano, Claudia Rodriguez; Schmitz, Marissa


Interest in forest-based carbon storage has led to growth in financing for carbon forestry. Most financial strategies rest on strong assumptions which are not valid in many parts of the world. We use cases drawn from tribal forestry in the US and government forestry in India to illustrate how carbon finance relies on the presence of enforceable rights, representative and accountable institutions, clear incentives, and symmetrical power relations. In the absence of these conditions, carbon finance provides perverse incentives that undermine biodiversity and human rights without storing carbon. We suggest that for forest-based carbon storage to be successful, more attention needs to be paid to underlying political reforms, as well as to policies that are not reliant on finance.

Published in

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
2021, volume: 51, pages: 7-14

Authors' information

Fleischman, Forrest
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Basant, Shishir
Texas AandM University College Station
Fischer, Harry (Fischer, Harry)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Gupta, Divya
Indian School of Business (ISB)
Lopez, Gustavo Garcia
University of Coimbra
Kashwan, Prakash
University of Connecticut
Powers, Jennifer S.
University of Minnesota
Ramprasad, Vijay
Centre for Ecology, Development and Research (CEDAR)
Rana, Pushpendra
Himachal Pradesh Forest Dept
Rastogi, Archi
Green Climate Fund
Solorzano, Claudia Rodriguez
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Schmitz, Marissa
University of Minnesota

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG10 Reduced inequalities
SDG16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
SDG17 Partnerships for the goals

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers


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