Title: Projection of the Future EU Forest CO2 Sink as Affected by Recent Bioenergy Policies Using Two Advanced Forest Management Models
Citation: GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY BIOENERGY vol. 4 no. 6 p. Pages 773-783
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC67407
ISSN: 1757-1693
URI: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01152.x/full
DOI: 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01152.x
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Forests of the 30 European Union (EU) have been intensively managed for decades, and they have formed a significant sink for carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere over the past 50 years. The reasons for this behavior are multiple, among them are: forest ageing, area expansion, increasing plant productivity due to environmental changes of many kinds, and, most importantly, the growth rates of European forest having been 35 higher than harvest rates. A relevant question for climate policy is: based on the expected evolution of harvest rates, how long the current sink of EU forests will be maintained in the near future? In this article we describe results of the comparison of two advanced forest management 40 models that are used to project CO2 emissions and removals from EU forests until 2030. EFISCEN, a detailed statistical matrix model and G4M, a geographically explicit economic forestry model, use scenarios of future harvest rates and forest growth information to estimate the future carbon balance of forest biomass. Two scenarios were assessed: the EU baseline scenario and the EU reference scenario (including additional 45 bioenergy and climate policies). EU member states report removals from forest management of around 400 Mt CO2 in 2000 and approximately stable levels in the period 2000-2008. Our projections suggest a significant decline of the sink until 2030 in the baseline scenario of about 25-40% 50 compared to 2010. Including additional bioenergy targets of EU Member States has an effect on the development of this sink. A sensitivity analysis was performed on the role of future wood demand and proved the importance of this driver for the future sink development. This is one on the few studies so far that assesses more comprehensively the tradeoffs of bioenergy use and carbon sequestration at large scale.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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