There is an ongoing, intense debate on how to mitigate climate change. Our Centre of Advanced research NB NORD has published a report that arranges existing knowledge and calculates the carbon debit and credit items of forestry in the Nordic-Baltic area.
Download the report Climate effects of forestry in the Nordic-Baltic region
– I lacked a simple description of how current forest management affect the carbon pools and flows. The scientific publication was divided into special journals for soil science, biology, climate, technology and many more disciplines. The knowledge was there, but it was difficult to access, says Rolf Björheden, the author of the report.
Forest management and the impact on climate change
Rolf Björheden, SkogForsk, and the SNS funded NB NORD network had found a lot of information about how forest management can be an important factor in mitigating climate change, since forests bind large amounts of carbon through photosynthesis. He wrote a report on the Swedish forests and it’s possible impact on climate change. The purpose of the report was to provide a factual basis for the debate, not so much to participate in it. The report, Climate impact of Swedish Forestry, was noticed and mostly well received.
But soon the demand arose for a similar compilation for the whole Nordic-Baltic area. And now it is available for free download, under the title Climate effects of forestry in the Nordic-Baltic region.
– The debate about how forests should be managed and what options to choose is not a scientific issue, but a social, political process. The factual basis presented in this short report is, hopefully, of help for anyone contributing to that process, says Rolf Björheden.
Essential to utilize the full potential
The report shows that the forests in the region sequesters 75 million tonnes of CO2 every year and that forest products decreases the fossil GHG emissions by another 200 million tonnes/year. From a long-term, climate point of view, it is essential to fully utilize the production potential of the region’s forests, upholding both inventory and net growth. Utilizing more of the biomass of the harvested trees would quickly increase the climate benefits. Forest-based products contribute by reducing the need for fossil feedstock, but their positive impact could be greatly improved through improved recycling for cascading use and with a product range optimized for climate effects.
The necessary data for the report was provided through the NB NORD network.