New approach to assessment of carbon cycle in native forest
Australian climate change policy to date has largely overlooked the potential role of forestry in mitigating climate change. When determining the climate impacts of any industry sector, it is important to adopt a true life cycle assessment approach that takes into account all relevant carbon emissions and removals.
As a consequence recent research, funded by FWPA, assessed the true balance of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted and stored in native forests managed for both production and conservation in NSW and Victoria (PNC285-1112). It considered all the key elements of the carbon cycle in forests and in harvested wood products (HWPs, including carbon stored in HWPs in landfills and product substitution impacts (for HWP and use of biomass for bio-energy).
The key conclusion is that the relative differences in the GHG balance of production and conservation scenarios do not warrant policies halting native forest management for wood production. When industry value-added benefits and carbon abatement benefits were added together, the production management scenarios generated higher GHG mitigation values than the conservation management scenarios.
Image Credit: FWPA