Carbomap’s analysis of Costa Rican forest demonstrates a possible $800 billion shortfall and need for better carbon accounting

11 March 2014

EDINBURGH, UK: Carbomap, an environmental survey company, has completed a three-dimensional carbon map of a forested region in Costa Rica. The map reveals that the actual carbon content is 22 percent higher than published values using traditional satellite methods of measuring forest carbon.

Estimated using approved methodologies by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the global forest carbon stocks are understood to contain 638 billion tonnes of carbon, which may be valued at more than $3.8 trillion (using an average price of $6 per tonne of carbon).

Underpinning any carbon credit trading is the need for accurate carbon stock calculations. Carbon stock calculations and their ongoing verification can therefore represent significant costs within any carbon trading transaction, and accuracy is important.

The data collected by Carbomap shows that the value of protecting global forest carbon could be being significantly underestimated, potentially by as much as $800 billion.

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