Skip to Main Content
The marginal cost of carbon abatement from planting street trees in New York CityAuthor(s): Kent F. Kovacs; Robert G. Haight; Suhyun Jung; Dexter H. Locke; Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne
Source: Ecological Economics. 95: 1-10.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
View PDF (1.26 MB)
DescriptionUrban trees can store carbon through the growth process and reduce fossil fuel use by lowering cooling and heating energy consumption of buildings through the process of transpiration, shading, and the blocking of wind. However, the planting and maintenance of urban trees come at a cost. We estimate the discounted cost of net carbon reductions associated with planting and caring for street trees in New York City (NYC) over 50- and 100-year horizons. Depending on the species planted, the cost of reducing carbon, averaged across planting locations, ranges from $3133 to $8888 per tonne carbon (tC), which is higher than current cost estimates of forest-based carbon sequestration. The London plane tree is the most cost-effective species because of its long life span and large canopy, and the marginal cost of carbon reduction for the species ranges from $1553 to $7396/tC across planting locations. The boroughs of Staten Island and Queens have planting locations with the lowest average costs of carbon reduction ($2657/tC and $2755/tC, respectively), resulting from greater reductions in energy consumption in nearby buildings, which have fewer stories and more residential use than buildings in the other boroughs.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationKovacs, Kent F.; Haight, Robert G.; Jung, Suhyun; Locke, Dexter H.; ONeil-Dunne, Jarlath. 2013. The marginal cost of carbon abatement from planting street trees in New York City. Ecological Economics. 95: 1-10.
KeywordsCost-effectiveness, Carbon, Street trees, New York City
- Carbon sequestration and storage by Gainesville's urban forest
- Residential building energy conservation and avoided power plant emissions by urban and community trees in the United States
- Indirect carbon reduction by residential vegetation and planting strategies in Chicago, U.S.A
XML: View XML