Key Messages

Over the past two decades, India has seen growth in forest and tree cover despite developmental activities. India in its 2015 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) committed to creating an additional sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) through the expansion of forest and tree cover by 2030. It is against this background that we at the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) created a system dynamic model to understand the long-term carbon sequestration potential of the country and analyse the policy choices available to help achieve the NDC targets in the forest sector.

To demonstrate the ability of the model, we simulated five scenarios for achieving two specific targets: NDC-1 (creating an additional 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2-e sink) and NDC-2 (creating an additional 3 billion tonnes of CO2-e sink). For the five chosen scenarios—all meeting the NDC targets (provided in Table A)—we analysed the total CO2-e sink, the annual carbon capture, and the percentage of forest and tree cover achieved for the years 2030 and 2070.

Forests: An essential piece in the decarbonisation puzzle