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Research based information on Scots pine properties and uses

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  • Carbon absorption: growing trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere
  • Carbon storage: wood products store carbon during the whole life cycle
  • Substitution effect: wood products can be used to substitute materials whose manufacture consumes more fossil fuels and other non-renewable natural resources
  • Source of bioenergy: fossil fuels can be substituted by using wood in energy production

Climate change and carbon sequestration

Updated 06.11.2019

Another important advantage of using wood to battle against climate change is the substitution effect. Wood products can substitute the use of non-wood materials that are based on the exploitation of non-renewable natural resources: the production of these materials may consume significant amounts of fossil fuels or the product itself may be further processed from non-renewable resources, such as oil.

The use of one cubic meter of wood to substitute other materials that consume more fossil fuels and non-renewable natural resources corresponds to the reduction of two tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Approximately 0.9 tonnes come from carbon storage and 1.1 tonnes from the substitution effect. Sustainable forest management and efficient wood product manufacturing enhance the role of forests and wood products in covering the carbon emissions from burning of fossil fuels.

Wood products can easily be reused or recycled. At the end of the life cycle wooden products can be used as a source of bioenergy, thus substituting the use of fossil fuels.

More information
 >green building | carbon cycle(links to Oregon Forest Resources Institute web page)  
 >environmental performance of wood (link to Finnish Forest Industries Federation web page)  
 >environmental declaration of building materials (link to Building Information Foundation RTS web page)  

Forests, carbon and climate change - A synthesis of science findings 2009. Oregon Forest Resources Institute.
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Reid, H. et al. 2004. Using wood products to mitigate climate change: a review of evidence and key issues for sustainable development. International Institute for Environment and Development – The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management.
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Updated: 06.04.2010 /MGre  |  Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Metla, unless otherwise stated  |  Copyright Metla  |  Feedback