Title: EU mitigation potential of harvested wood products
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC92504
ISSN: 1750-0680
URI: http://www.cbmjournal.com/content/10/1/6
DOI: 10.1186/s13021-015-0016-7
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Background The new rules for the Land Use, Land Use change and Forestry sector under the Kyoto Protocol recognized the importance of Harvested Wood Products (HWP) in climate change mitigation. We used the Tier 2 approach proposed in the 2013 IPCC KP Supplement to estimate emissions and removals from HWP from 1990 to 2030 in EU-28 countries with three future harvest scenarios (constant historical average, and +/-20% in 2030). Results For the historical period (2000-2012) our results are consistent with other studies, indicating a HWP sink equal on average to -44.0 Mt CO2 yr-1. By assuming a constant historical harvest scenario the HWP sink decreases to -25.2 Mt CO2 yr-1 in 2030, irrespective of the assumptions on the distribution of harvest between different products. The increasing and decreasing harvest scenarios produced higher and lower HWP removals (respectively, -43.8 and –7.1 Mt CO2 yr-1 in 2030). Other factors may play an important role on HWP sink, including: (i) the relative share of different wood products, and (ii) the combined effect of production, import and export on the domestic production of each commodity. Conclusions Maintaining a constant historical harvest the HWP sink will sooner or later tend to saturate, i.e. to approach zero. The current HWP sink will be maintained only by further increasing the current harvest; however, this will likely reduce the current sink in forest biomass. Overall, our results suggest that: (i) the future HWP mitigation potential in EU is rather modest; (ii) the HWP mitigation potential should be analyzed in conjunction with other mitigation components (e.g. sink in forest biomass).
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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