Canadian Forest Service Publications

A synthesis of climate change mitigation options based on regional case studies of the North American forest sector using a harmonized modeling approach. 2020. Smyth, C.E., Dugan, A.J., Olguin, M., Birdsey, R., Wayson, C., Alanís, A., Kurz, W.A. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, British Columbia. Information report BC-X-455. 22 p.

Year: 2020

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40190

Language: English

Series: Information Report (PFC - Victoria)

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

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Plain Language Summary

This article synthesizes the results of a Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) project to assess forest sector mitigation options related to improved management of lands and wood products in two strategic landscapes for each country in North America: Mexico (Olguin et al. 2018), the US (Dugan et al. 2018) and Canada (Smyth et al. 2018). The objectives were to compare and contrast regional circumstances, and examine the efficiency of regionally differentiated mitigation activities for the six strategic landscapes, after standardizing the results to enable comparisons. The goal was to understand the impacts and timing of alternative management options for forests and harvested wood products and synthesize these findings to more broadly support policy and management decisions regarding climate change mitigation. Previously published model estimates of the climate change mitigation potential for Canada, the US and Mexico were standardized and compared. Each of the three studies used a harmonized modeling approach (with country-specific information), and therefore the country-specific results can be directly compared. The three studies used a sound analytical framework for assessing mitigation examined the forest ecosystem, C use and storage in HWPs and landfills, and substitution benefits from using wood in place of fossil-based products or energy. Combinations of activities that focus on forest ecosystems, wood use and low-emissions material and energy use offer the highest mitigation potential and at the same time can minimize future risks. In addition, combinations of activities that balance immediate GHG reductions with longer-term reductions related to future forest growth have high mitigation potential. The demand for climate change mitigation analyses in the forest sector has never been higher. Signatory countries to the Paris Agreement aim to keep the global temperature increase to well below two degrees Celsius, and enhance and conserve forest-based C sinks. Over 100 member counties have included the land sector in their nationally determined contributions, and each member country must determine and report on the national contributions to mitigate climate change and update mid-century projections every five years. This synthesis shows the tools that already deployed in Canada, are maturing to perform these analyses for all of North America, given access to data and tri-national research coordination.