Jonah Busch

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The idea that a growing service sector can lead to environmental gains in addition to economic gains should be tested further. But it’s a promising idea, since shifting jobs from agriculture or industry to services is an aspiration for so many people in so many places.
🌳Knowing economic growth and environmental improvement CAN co-occur should make policymakers more pro-environment 🌎Knowing WHERE they co-occurred gives those places something to be proud of 💡Knowing WHY they co-occurred helps other regions seeking green growth
To be clear, places where high levels of economic growth and high levels of forest growth converged were the exception, not the rule. But finding and studying them is still important, because…
What most bright spots of economic growth and forest growth had in common, much more than rising incomes, was service sector growth. Is it time to reconsider the Environmental Kuznets Curve theory?
A growing economy and regrowing forests have gone hand-in-hand in dozens of places around the world. We used satellite data to find the top 100.
NEW PAPER with @oyutamarjargal in @GEC_Journal! “100 global bright spots of green growth: Co-occurrence of nighttime light gain and forest gain, 1990–2015”… (open access)
@emraguso @JesseArreguin @benbartlettberk @RebeccaForBART Jonah Busch, North Berkeley resident + scientist, advocates for taller housing at both stations: "We want this North Berkeley life that we enjoy to be accessible and affordable to as many people as possible." He says taller buildings are critical to climate efforts. #berkmtg
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We have an unprecedented opportunity to reform the global architecture for pandemics. But this moment will pass soon. My colleagues and I just published a policy roadmap in @Nature on how we can implement pandemic prevention in the next 2 years. 🧵…L 1/
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Sunshine day dream. CA was 100% powered by renewables this weekend-for a bit. By me @MyDesert…
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@jonahbusch @fuehrmeyer @cowbirdlab Thanks for the compliments on the figure, they should reach @KornelisBlok, who coordinated this! For feasibility along other dimensions, check out Figure TS.31.
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How to stop climate change, in one big beautiful chart #IPCC
This is such important, long-needed, and hopeful work! As climate change worsens, people perceive that and take stronger actions against it. Taking this feedback into account in climate modeling reduces expected global warming down to 2.3 °C.…
Consumer countries are increasingly attempting to combat tropical deforestation by restricting imports of #palmoil. However, banning imports of commodities grown with high levels of deforestation would barely reduce forest loss, writes @jonahbusch
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The costs and benefits of primary prevention of zoonotic pandemics… Primary Pandemic Prevention Costs 5% of Lives Lost Every Year from Emerging Infectious Diseases…
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“Full implementation of the [Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use] would…contribute about 10% of the necessary reduction to [keep global temperature increase below 1.5°C]” @ForestsMatter…
Terribly saddened to hear about the passing of #TomLovejoy. A giant in #conservation, champion for #amazon, & a kind, generous scientist. Tom was a mentor, friend to many and on @ConservationOrg leadership council. We will miss him greatly!
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Cool! Last year @anitnath @avani_kapur and I wrote that India's ecological fiscal transfers (EFT) give a big incentive for states to protect and restore forests. But we also found it wasn't happening yet.… Great to see the wheels are now starting to turn!…
Would import restrictions on high-deforestation commodities be effective policies to reduce deforestation? Our estimates show it seems not. New study led by @jonahbusch:…. Blog version➡️…. Thread ⬇️…
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Our paper is out! Looking at why demand-side restrictions aren't enough, and may have unintended consequences politically. Loved @jonahbusch's vinaigrette metaphor for the research in this thread.…
Retweeted by Jonah Busch
Check out our new assessment of the impact of trade restrictions on deforestation, led by @jonahbusch. Key takeaway: the demand-side measures under consideration in many importing countries only play a small role in reducing forest loss in palm oil producing regions.…
Retweeted by Jonah Busch
I wrote a blog about our new paper: "Can trade restrictions in Europe reduce deforestation in Indonesia?"…
Without direct positive support for forest conservation, our paper shows, trade restrictions alone should not be expected to have much impact on keeping forests standing.
To put it in edible terms: Import restrictions=sour, confrontational vinegar 😖 Carbon payments=sweet, cooperative honey 🍯 Combining both=tangy, palatable (and deforestation-free?) vinaigrette 🥗
So what should wealthy consumer countries do to help reduce tropical deforestation? My answer: generous support for more direct forest and climate protection policies, such as carbon payments, instead of or alongside trade restrictions.
Perhaps. But, non-price pathways of import restrictions might just as easily increase deforestation. For example, perceived protectionism triggering a backlash in producer countries resulting in domestic price supports for deforesting industries.
Might import restrictions succeed in reducing deforestation through “non-price pathways” outside the scope of economic models? Such as: -changing social norms -synergy with other conservation actions -companies applying EU standards to all exports and not just exports to Europe
As modest as the effects we estimate are, the true impacts of import restrictions would likely be even smaller. Real-world restrictions cover only a fraction of palm oil imports, and only a fraction of oil-palm-associated deforestation.
We obtained these results by merging a global trade model (@GTAP_Purdue) with an economic model of land-use change in Indonesia. We distinguished palm oil grown with high and low levels of deforestation using satellite maps of forest and oil palm plantations over time.
Even if the entire world outside of Indonesia and Malaysia stopped importing high-deforestation palm oil, Indonesia’s deforestation from 2000-2015 would still only have been 3.8% lower, and its emissions from deforestation 4.5% lower.
Reason 3: oil palm was responsible for only 32% of deforestation in Indonesia. The rest was due to pulp and paper plantations, small-scale agriculture, conversion to grasslands, and other uses.
Reason 2: even big changes in palm oil price barely budge deforestation—every 1% decrease in the price of palm oil was associated with just a 0.13% decrease in conversion of forest to oil palm.
There are 3 reasons the effects of an import ban would be so small. Reason 1: 52% of the high-deforestation palm oil that would have been exported to Europe would shift to other regions
In addition, we estimate a hypothetical carbon price on emissions from deforestation in Indonesia could have exceeded the effects of trade restrictions at just $0.81/tCO2. That's an order of magnitude or two cheaper than current prices in most carbon markets.
Our paper finds that if Europe had banned imports of high-deforestation palm oil from 2000-2015, deforestation in Indonesia over that time period would have only been 1.6% less than it actually was. Meanwhile CO2 emissions from deforestation would have been just 1.9% less.
Recently, some consumer countries have been trying to reduce tropical deforestation by cutting their imports of high-deforestation palm oil, soy, beef, and other “forest-risk” commodities. Can that work?
Takeaway: Restricting imports of high-deforestation commodities does little to counteract faraway deforestation. Consumer countries seeking to reduce tropical deforestation should offer more direct support for forest and climate protection, such as carbon payments. Thread…
New paper in Environmental Research Letters! “Effects of demand-side restrictions on high-deforestation palm oil in Europe on deforestation and emissions in Indonesia”… @oyutamarjargal F.Taheripour @KemenAustin @rizkisiregar @KelleeKoenig @hertel_thomas
Today I introduced H.R 5830, the #AMAZON21 Act, which will help developing countries end deforestation, a key piece of combating the climate crisis. This is an issue I have cared deeply about for many years & demands immediate action.
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Thrilled to see the groundbreaking U.S. Plan to Conserve Global Forests: Critical Carbon Sinks announced by @POTUS. Nature-based solutions are key to…
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Rep. Hoyer will introduce $9 billion bill to meet Biden's COP26 deforestation pledge…
My take: that the 2030 goal is “collective” means vast regrowing forests or plantations in e.g. Russia could cover for vast continued deforestation in e.g. Brazil and the goal still met. That would be better than what’s happening now, but not guaranteed to be climate positive.
Here’s the text of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use:…
Euronews has a list of the 100+ countries who’ve signed on:… Despite some noticeable hold outs this is a pretty strong Who’s Who
Ok, according to DW that funding for protecting and restoring forests is over five years (2021-2025), not ten, which would be a *quadrupling* of international finance.… Looking forward to seeing the declaration tomorrow!
It’s also near the $20 billion presidential candidate Biden pledged to round up in the debates last year
To put this in perspective, this would be roughly double the recent rate of international finance for tropical forest protection. (It’s been ~$1B/yr; without seeing details yet this sounds like ~$19B/9 yrs)
“Governments committed $12 billion and private companies pledged $7 billion to protect and restore forests in a variety of ways, including $1.7 billion for Indigenous peoples”…
I’m honored and excited to share that I’ve joined the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, with the Honorable Jane Lubchenco and excellent colleagues!
Retweeted by Jonah Busch
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