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The Accounting of Biological Sinks and Sources Under the Kyoto Protocol - A Step Forwards or Backwards for Global Environmental Protection?

This examination of the Kyoto provisions relevant to carbon sinks, provides a thorough and critical assessment of the accord. It outlines the policy basics and offers recommendations on the interpretation and application of the provisions.

It also provides a comprehensive look at the source and sink potential of terrestrial ecosystems, and outlines the unresolved issues. The paper suggests that the present accounting approach may provide incentives that bear a negative impact on climate protection measures, biodiversity conservation and soil protection. In addition, it argues that many uncertainties are attached to the reduction in net emissions achievable by means of terrestrial sinks. In the long term, it states, fossil fuel emissions cannot be compensated for by the terrestrial biosphere.

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