A new science-policy report from EFI demonstrates that using wood-based products to substitute greenhouse gas intensive-materials can have important climate benefits.
The authors reviewed 51 existing studies to provide an up-to-date synthesis of scientific knowledge on the greenhouse gas emissions of products made from wood and from alternative materials, over their entire lifetime.
While the positive role of forests in climate change mitigation is generally well perceived, the contribution of wood products to mitigation is much less known and understood. Current reporting on greenhouse gas emissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and related processes does not attribute the substitution benefits of wood-based products directly to the forest sector. However, this information is important when developing optimal strategies on how forests and the forest sector can maximise their contribution to climate change mitigation.
The study concludes that for each ton of C in wood products that substitute non-wood products, average emissions are reduced by approximately 1.2 ton C. Expressed in a different unit, this corresponds to about 2.2 ton of CO2 emissions reduction per ton of wood product. The substitution effects vary significantly, depending on the wood product and technology that is considered and the methods used to estimate emissions.
Copy of the study is available HERE