My piece last week on the peristant, long-term overestimation of forest sinks has made it into the today's National Business Review. Offline, unfortunately, but here's the intro:
The recent stoush over who owns forest sink carbon credits might never have become so entrenched if forestry calculations, as with the rest of New Zealand¹s Kyoto number crunching, hadn¹t missed their targets. Over-optimistic projections of how many sink credits would be available contributed to the mistaken idea that New Zealand would be a Kyoto seller not a buyer.
According to research by local blogger No Right Turn new plantings, which peaked in the early 1990s before dropping rapidly, kept coming in below forecasts.
Chief executive of the NZ Forest Owners' Association David Rhodes said the Association had advised officials throughout the 1990s that relying on high levels of plantings would be a "risky strategy."
The question is whether the government has learned from its mistake and will be more careful about its projections. Currently they're estimating 5000 hectares a year, which when we had net deforestation last year seems bad. OTOH, they have had concrete indications that it is likely to bounce back a little. so they might not be too far off, at least for the rest of CP1.