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The Economic Impacts of Biodiversity Policy for Improving the Climate Regulating Services Provided by EU Natura 2000 Habitats

Keywords: EU, Natura 2000 habitats, climate regulating services, economic assessment, conservation policies JEL Classification: Q23, Q51, Q57

Author(s): Helen Ding, Anil Markandya and Paulo A.L.D. Nunes

Date: 2012-10-17

Issue: 2012-13

  Download this working paper (637 KB.)


We adopted the state-of-the-art methodologies to quantify the total carbon stocked by Natura 2000 habitats as well as to project the future changes of carbon stocks influenced by alternative policy options for the management of Natura 2000 habitats by 2020. Our results show that the N2K network currently stores around 9.6 billion tonnes of Carbon, equivalent to 35 billion tonnes of CO2, which is estimated to be worth between €607 billion and €1,130 billion (stock value in 2010), depending on the price attached to a ton of carbon. Of the different ecosystems the forest habitats contain the highest carbon value in the network, ranging between €318 and €610 billion in 2010. Furthermore, our results also show that in the future these carbon values can be increased. A policy scenario (Policy ON), where full Protected Area coverage (terrestrial PAs + fuller MPAs) with a move to full favourable conservation status is estimated to generate a gain of at least a total of 1.71-2.86% by 2020 compared to a policy inaction scenario (Policy OFF), where no additional action is taken to conserve the current Natura 2000 sites over the next decade.

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