Jyri SeppäläThe professor in charge of sustainable consumption and production at the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) said on Thursday that the oft-heard claim that logging increases forest carbon sequestration in the medium to 30-80 years is inaccurate because logging from forest reduces long-term carbon storage.
“The realization of the climate benefits of wood use over time requires that the reduction in forest carbon sinks caused by logging is less than the increase in carbon storage in wood products and the reduction in fossil emissions caused by wood-based use. fuels, “he said said.
Seppälä added to Helsingin Sanomat that the replacement benefits of wood-based fuels and products should be three to four times higher than at present in order for logging volumes to be justified.
“There is currently no climate-based rationale for increasing the use of intensive wood. On the contrary, it jeopardizes both climate and diversity goals, ”he said declared.
The Climate Change Panel does not call for a reduction in logging volumes, he emphasized, but the timing and volume of harvesting will be viewed with caution in the light of the climate targets set for the entire land use sector.
Approximately 75 million cubic meters of trunk wood was felled in Finland in 2021. Pressure to increase volume is causing great pressure in Western Lapland due to the demand for a new bioproduct plant in Kemi and the cessation of Russian imports.
Felling has a detrimental effect on forest carbon sinks, especially as the country’s forests are, on average, relatively young and grow slowly relative to the intensity of felling.
“This effect is illustrated by the fact that with less felling – 63 million cubic meters per year – the average age of forests would increase by 34 years per 100 years. With the current felling volume, the average age of standing music would increase by 19 years in 100 years, ”Syke emphasizes.
“If forests are felled too young while the trees are still growing, it weakens the carbon sinks,” Seppälä told Helsingin Sanomat.
Syke also questioned the perception that the use of forests is beneficial for the climate, as wood products store carbon and replace emission-intensive fossil fuels, estimating that it will take at least 150 years to compensate for existing wood fuels and products after the loss of carbon sinks. by recording.
“Some wood products replace fossil fuels and fossil coal, but they are not enough to compensate for the carbon shortage in forests. The effects are negligible compared to the loss of carbon sinks, ”Seppälä said.
Syke pointed out that increasing the share of wood-based building materials in forest industry production would bring benefits in the short term only if domestic logging volumes are not increased.
Only about one-fifth of the trunk wood consumed in the country is currently used to make wood products with a longer life cycle, such as building materials.
“The climate impact of forest industry products can be improved by increasing the material efficiency of the manufacture and use of wood products, increasing the share of long-term wood products in production and manufacturing products that replace products that cause emissions on the market,” Seppälä outlined.
“The forest sector should accelerate the development of innovative climate-sustainable solutions.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page