The economics of decarbonizing Costa Rica's agriculture, forestry and other land uses sectors

Ecological Economics
By: , and 



In 2018, Costa Rica demonstrated its commitment to the Paris Agreement and published its Decarbonization Plan for achieving zero net emissions by the year 2050. We evaluate the impacts of the country's strategy for decarbonizing its Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses (AFOLU) sectors by coupling the Integrated Economic-Environmental Modeling framework with high-resolution spatial land use-land cover change and ecosystem services modeling (IEEM+ESM). Our results show that decarbonization of AFOLU would simultaneously enhance carbon storage, water purification, water regulation and erosion mitigation ecosystem services. Moreover, the positive cumulative wealth impact of decarbonization would be approximately US$7.27 billion by 2050 while lifting an additional 3810 individuals out of poverty. From a public investment perspective, decarbonization would have a fiscally neutral impact with the economic benefits sufficient in magnitude to off-set policy implementation costs and generate economic returns of over US$852 million when changes in natural capital stocks and environmental quality are considered. This application to Costa Rica is the first integrated economy-wide analysis of a growing number of decarbonization plans globally. The IEEM+ESM approach provides an integrated framework for analyzing decarbonization plans and can be used to refine AFOLU mitigation strategies to capitalize on synergies and minimize negative trade-offs across the three dimensions of wealth and sustainable economic development, namely economy, society and the environment.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The economics of decarbonizing Costa Rica's agriculture, forestry and other land uses sectors
Series title Ecological Economics
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2024.108115
Volume 218
Year Published 2024
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description 108115, 15 p.
Country Costa Rica
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