Technical Report 9

The Impacts of Manufacturing and Utilisation of Wood Products on the European Carbon Budget

Thies Eggers
Internal Report 9
European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland, 2002
90 p.

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In this study the contribution of wood-based products to absorbing atmospheric carbon (C) is estimated as part of the EU-funded LTEEF-II project “Long-term regional effects of climate change on European forests: impact assessment and consequences for carbon budgets” (ENV4-CT97-0577, DG 12 - EHKN). Based on wood use in the past, carbon stocks in wood products for 1990 are calculated by a wood product model (Karjalainen et al. 1994) which is coupled with the European Forest Information Scenario Model (EFISCEN). In addition to the estimation of the initial carbon stock in wood products, also scenarios of the future development of the carbon stock in wood products are done up to the year 2050. This is based on scenarios on future growth of forest resources, future harvesting levels as well as the usage of wood products.

Beside the modelling, this study focused on data-collection and the data-analysis for those 27 European countries that are included in the LTEEF-II project. The main data source on historic removals (roundwood production) and commodity production (fuelwood, sawn timber, wood-based panels, and pulpwood) is the FAOSTAT forestry products database. Furthermore commodity producer information have been implemented in order to get the model as precise as possible. The future data on removals are taken from the EFISCEN results. In order to get the initial carbon stock for wood products realistic, past wood use, conversion from raw material to final products, use of final products and use of discarded products needs to be precise since in this project it is not possible to do direct inventories on wood product carbon stocks.

In 1990 the IPCC stock-change approach with the exclusion of trade resulted in an European carbon stock in wood products of 769 Tg C, which will increase to 870 Tg C in 2050. This represents 6% of the total forest sector carbon budget in 1990 and 5% in 2050. The carbon stocks and fluxes for 5 sample countries (Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, and Portugal) and also for Europe in toto are presented as well in more detail. The applied scenarios consider different forest management options and a scenario on the EU Council Directive on the landfill of waste. Beside the carbon stocks and carbon fluxes, the possible energy-equivalents of the burned side-products and discarded products are also calculated in means of TWh and tons oil-equivalents.

Finally the results of this study are evaluated with results from other studies, which also deal with carbon sequestration in harvested wood and wood-based products.

Keywords: CO 2, modelling, wood products, IPCC stock-change approach, Europe, Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, Portugal, carbon stocks, carbon fluxes, landfill, energy-equivalents.