Nature – Hasegawa et al. (2024): Careful selection of forest types in afforestation can increase carbon sequestration by 25% without compromising sustainability

Tomoko Hasegawa, Shinichiro Fujimori, Akihiko Ito, Kiyoshi Takahashi IN: Communications Earth & Environment,

Here, the auhtors used an integrated assessment model to quantitatively demonstrate how the selection of forest type to use in afforestation could increase global carbon sequestration without compromising global food and land sustainability. Our findings indicate that if a carbon-intensive forest type is selected, afforestation would increase carbon sequestration by 25% compared to the level assuming the native forest type. At the same time, if implemented inappropriately at a large scale, afforestation would worsen the economy, food, and land systems due to decreased land efficiency in carbon removal compared to bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, leading to increased land expansion for carbon removal, higher food prices, and increased risk of hunger.