Canadian Forest Service Publications

Forest biomass, carbon neutrality and climate change mitigation. From Science to Policy 3. 2016. Berndes, G.; Abt, B.; Asikainen, A.; Cowie, A.; Dale, V.; Egnell, G.; Lindner, M.; Marelli, L.; Paré, D.; Pingoud, K.; Yeh, S. European Forest Institute, Joensuu Finland.

Year: 2016

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 37391

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

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Plain Language Summary

This report provides an overview of the current scientific debate regarding forest biomass, its carbon neutrality and climate change mitigation potential in Europe.

For example, the carbon neutrality of forests is an ambiguous concept and the debate surrounding it distracts from the more important question as to how the forest industry and European forests could contribute to climate change mitigation (namely through carbon storage and sequestration) while continuing to provide ecological services.

The scientific literature presents differing opinions concerning forest biomass, depending on the analytical context and political objectives. The latter have a strong influence on the wording of research questions, as well as on the methods and hypotheses that are then applied. These elements will then have a significant impact on the results and conclusions. Setting short-term greenhouse gas reduction objectives could make it more difficult to meet longer-term objectives.