How carbon stored in harvested wood products contribute in a greenhouse gas accounting perspective

IRG/WP 17-50327

G Alfredsen, G Søgaard

In 2014 the net annual removal by Norwegian forests was 30.4 mill ton CO2-eqvivalents while the emissions in other sectors was 53.2 mill ton CO2-eqvivalents. Hence, forests can play a major role in the national greenhouse gas balance. But forests also contribute to the carbon pool stored in wood products. The aim of this paper is, by using Norway as an example, to illustrate how the greenhouse gas emission reporting of harvested wood products (HWP) are performed, what results it provides and what the trends are. According to the Norwegian convention reporting to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) the total Norwegian HWP pool served as a sink (net annual removals) until 2009, thereafter it has served as a source (net annual emissions). Why? The main reason is that since 2006 the number of paper factories in Norway has declined. This has resulted in a drastic reduction of export of paper and paperboards. Additional reasons for the change are periods with reduced use of sawnwood domestically and increased import at the expense of domestic production. The finance crisis in 2008 – 2009 resulted in a temporary marked drop in production value and downscaling of Norwegian production.

Keywords: carbon accounting, greenhouse gas emissions, harvested wood products, Norway, paper and paperboards, sawn wood, wood-based panels

Conference: 17-06-04/08 Ghent, Belgium

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