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Counting the climate-warming CO2 locked up in forests offers a cheaper way to curb the GHG than considering only emissions from industry and fossil fuels, says a new study.
Factories, power plants and vehicles likely emit some 500 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere by 2100, according to a study in the journal Science.
A U.N. scheme called REDD allows developing countries to raise potentially billions of dollars in carbon credits in exchange for conserving and rehabilitating forests.
Analysts say linking the EU's scheme (EU ETS) with the United States is a crucial first step toward a global carbon market, which will help achieve real emissions cuts in planet-warming greenhouse gases.
The European carbon market's recent volatility could be another obstacle to linking in the near future. Prices for carbon permits called EU Allowances fell from more than 30.00 euros last July to an all-time low of 8.05 euros in February due to a sell-off by industrial companies to raise cash in the economic slowdown.