Publication Details

Carbon accounting rules and guidelines for the United States Forest Sector

Publication Toolbox

  • Download PDF (1411849)
  • This publication is available only online.

Year Published



Journal of Environmental Quality 35:1518-1524


The United States Climate Change initiative includes improvements to the U.S. Department of Energy's Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The program includes specific accounting rules and guidelines for reporting and registering forestry activities that reduce atmospheric CO2 by increasing carbon sequestration or reducing emissions. In the forestry sector, there is potential for the economic value of emissions credits to provide increased income for landowners, to support rural development, to facilitate the practice of susbinable forest management, and to support restoration of ecosystems. Forestry activities with potential for achieving substantial reductions include, but are not limited to: afforestation, mine land reclamation, forest restoration, agroforestry, forest mamgement, short-rotation biomass energy plantations, forest protection, wood production, and urban forestry. To be eligible for registration, the reported reductions must use methods and meet standards contained in the guidelines. Forestry presents some unique challenges and opportunities because of the diversity of activities, the variety of practices that can affect greenhouse gases, year-to-year variability in emissions and sequestration, the effects of activities on different forest carbon pools, and accounting for the effects of natural disturbance.


Birdsey, Richard A. 2006. Carbon accounting rules and guidelines for the United States Forest Sector. Journal of Environmental Quality 35:1518-1524

Last updated on: September 19, 2006