Geodesign Technologies has received a USGS research grant to develop potential mechanisms and policies for the Greater Everglades landscape in which carbon markets are used to not only to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also to fund conservation and restoration. We are studying emissions from buildings and transportation, as well as sequestration across a set of ecosystems.
There are several reasons why we feel that it is important to systematically and objectively test potential carbon markets. The first is that the regional distribution of carbon sources and sinks has yet to be comprehensively mapped across both human and natural systems. The second is that policies which optimize carbon sequestration at lowest economic cost may not necessarily lead to ecologically or socially-preferred scenarios. Therefore, informed policymaking needs to consider the consequences of various incentive schemes.
Ultimately, the benefit of conducting this research does not rest on any particular set of policies. Whichever course of action Florida and the nation chooses to take relative to global warming mitigation, it will be useful to be able to assess the carbon and ecological consequences of such actions using a clear, repeatable and defensible process.