Paper on improving the carbon balance of the harvested wood products sector in 4 European countries published.
Harvested wood products (HWP) may contribute to climate change mitigation by storing carbon and by replacing energy-intensive materials and fossil energy, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, when assessing improved HWP utilisations, interactions between wood use pathways, the carbon stock dynamics, and the resulting effect on the GHG balance are still not well-understood.
The paper Options to improve the carbon balance of the harvested wood products sector in four EU countries – Bozzolan – GCB Bioenergy – Wiley Online Library published by RESONATE researchers Nicola Bozzolan and Gert-Jan Nabuurs and colleagues aims to assess the carbon sequestration effects of alternative wood product utilisations in four European Union (EU) countries.
The group of researchers conducted a material flow analysis of wood uses in France, Finland, Germany, and Spain for 2017 taking into account national production, imports, and exports. Then, they quantified the future dynamics of carbon stock in the HWP through time, assuming the same as in 2017 input and ignoring the forest sink. They ran six alternative scenarios: two energy-focused (Energy, Energy+), two material-focused (Cascading, Material), one with extended half-life of the wood products (HL) and one as business as usual.
Overall, the results of the study suggest that the HWP carbon stock can be increased in the short-medium term by prioritizing the use of wood for material purposes, while maintaining constant harvest. The HWP mitigation potential differed greatly according to national wood industry characteristics. Hence, tailoring
the HWP mitigation strategies to the specific characteristics of the national wood chain would enhance the HWP climate benefits.
Bozzolan, N., Grassi, G., Mohren, F., & Nabuurs, G.-J. (2023). Options to improve the carbon balance of the harvested wood products sector in four EU countries. GCB Bioenergy, 00, 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1111/
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