, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 631-657
Date: 03 Apr 2013

Carbon Storage on Non-industrial Private Forestland: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behavior

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Leading scientific experts in the field of climate change suggest that a multifaceted response to global warming should include the use of forest carbon offsets (also known as forest sinks). Emerging emissions reduction legislation in the United States (US) accounts for this recommendation by allowing for carbon offsets derived from domestic forestry projects (e.g. reforestation, afforestation, avoided deforestation). Given that the majority of US forestland is privately owned and non-industrial, the current research employs a behavioral model to measure intentions of private non-industrial forestland owners to participate in carbon sequestration and trading. Results suggest that very few (5.1 %) of these forestland owners are currently involved in carbon sequestration and trading, but half (50.4 %) were at least somewhat interested in exploring opportunities to do so. The Theory of Planned Behavior, acting as the theoretical frame of reference, was extended in the current research to include environmental orientation, innovativeness, perceived risk and tested knowledge, all of which had significant effects on core model constructs: attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and behavioral intentions. The extended model explained a significant amount of the variance related to behavioral intentions to sequester carbon on private US forestland (R2 = .53).