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Jenny Cohen
School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Elisabeth Andrews
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, September 21, 2006

Forests and farms provide means to curtail global warming

IU SPEA’s Ken Richards describes carbon sequestration prospects in Pew Center report

Kenneth Richards

Kenneth Richards

Sept. 21, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Pew Center on Global Climate Change released a report today on the potential role of U.S. forests and farms in mitigating global warming, Agricultural and Forestlands: U.S. Carbon Policy Strategies. Ken Richards, an associate professor at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, is co-author of the report.

The report describes a range of policy approaches that would ensure a prominent role for U.S. agricultural and forestlands in national climate mitigation plans. Potential policy changes include management of public lands, land use regulations for privately owned forestlands and incentives designed to promote climate-friendly agricultural production.

"There is a vast array of practices that could increase carbon sequestration in the United States. A wide range of policy tools such as subsidies, contracts, taxes and regulations are available to induce land managers to adopt appropriate carbon sequestration practices," Richards said.

"Given the tremendous variety of practices, land types and landowners, the art of program design is going to be identifying the best policy tools for each application. This is not going to be a case of one size fits all."

Co-authors of the report are R. Neil Sampson, director of The Sampson Group, Inc., and Sandra Brown, a senior scientist in the Ecosystems Services Unit of Winrock International.

The full report is available for download from the Pew Center at

The IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs is a global leader in public administration and environmental science, with the top-ranked graduate program in the country in environmental policy and nonprofit management. SPEA has earned national distinction for its unique interdisciplinary programs in public and nonprofit management, public policy, environmental science, arts administration and health administration. SPEA has earned national distinction for innovative educational programs and was ranked in the top three graduate programs in its field in its most recent review by U.S. News and World Report.

The Pew Center was established in May 1998 by The Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the United States' largest philanthropies and an influential voice in efforts to improve the quality of the environment. The Pew Center is an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing credible information, straight answers and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change. The Pew Center is led by Eileen Claussen, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

To speak with Richards, contact Jenny Cohen, SPEA, 812-855-6802 or