Bryan BA, RK Runting, T Capon, MP Perring, SC Cunningham, ME Kragt, M Nolan, EA Law, AR Renwick, S Eber, R Christian and KA Wilson (2015) Designer policy for carbon and biodiversity co-benefits under global change. NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE (Online)

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Carbon payments can help mitigate both climate change and
biodiversity decline through the reforestation of agricultural
land1. However, to achieve biodiversity co-benefits, carbon
paymentsoften require support fromother policymechanisms2
such as regulation3,4, targeting5,6, and complementary incentives7,8.
We evaluated 14 policy mechanisms for supplying
carbon and biodiversity co-benefits through reforestation of
carbon plantings (CP) and environmental plantings (EP) in
Australia?s 85.3 Mha agricultural land under global change.
The reference policy?uniform payments (bidders are paid
the same price) with land-use competition (both CP and EP
eligible for payments), targeting carbon?achieved significant
carbon sequestration but negligible biodiversity co-benefits.
Land-use regulation (only EP eligible) and two additional
incentives complementing the reference policy (biodiversity
premium, carbon levy) increased biodiversity co-benefits,
but mostly ineciently. Discriminatory payments (bidders
are paid their bid price) with land-use competition were
ecient, and with multifunctional targeting of both carbon and
biodiversity co-benefits increased the biodiversity co-benefits
almost 100-fold. Our findings were robust to uncertainty
in global outlook, and to key agricultural productivity and
land-use adoption assumptions. The results suggest clear
policy directions, but careful mechanism design will be key
to realising these eciencies in practice. Choices remain
for society about the amount of carbon and biodiversity
co-benefits desired, and the price it is prepared to pay for them.