Wood products can contribute to climate mitigation. Long-lived wood products form a storage pool of wood-based carbon. As raw material and energy source, wood can substitute for more energy-intensive materials and fossil fuels.
So far, however, the international climate policy has only provided the possibility to account for carbon sinks in forests through the Kyoto Protocol. This concept is a dead-end to sustainable forest management, as forest carbon sinks give incentives to increase the carbon stock of forests, increasing the risk of forest instability and thus of becoming a CO2 source.
In contrast, accounting for harvested wood products (HWP) could help encourage silvicultural measures without loosing the value of the forest carbon sink. While the value of HWP is recognized by many countries, the diverging effects of the suggested accounting methods on national Greenhouse Gas inventories have postponed the inclusion of wood products in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Negotiations on the second commitment period of the Kyoto open the way for possible inclusion of wood products as of 2013 - 2017.
The workshop will focus on providing high-level information for policy makers and other stakeholders on the role of wood products in fighting climate change.
The objectives of the workshop are:
- To provide information for policy- and decision-makers on the climate relevant carbon storage and substitution effects of HWP and the core principles and issues of HWP accounting.
- To discuss measures and policies to increase the role of forest products in climate change mitigation.
- To review options and consequences of different choices for policy makers in the context of international negotiations.
The workshop will be jointly organized by the Swiss Confederation, Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the UNECE/FAO Timber Section, the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) Liaison Unit Oslo, and Dr. Kim Pingoud from the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT).
The main messages of the presentations and the workshop discussions are summarized in the proceedings of the workshop.
The results of the workshop will be presented at several subsequent events:
- the European Forestry Week (20-24 October 2008), where a summary of the workshop and its results will be presented,
- the International Conference on the "role of forests in climate management" in Saint-Petersburg, Russia (4-7 October 2008), where a session on HWP is planned, and finally
- the UNFCCC COP 14 in Poznan, Poland (1-12 December 2008).
- Role of harvested wood products for climate change mitigation.
- Whereabouts of international negotiations on HWP.
- Key issues of accounting for HWP: Approaches, methods, and modeling for HWP accounting. National and international incentives/disincentives.
- Economic opportunities and risks of HWP accounting for the forest, woodworking, pulp and paper industries; possible contributions to other sectors such as agriculture, energy.
- Measures and policies to increase the contribution of forest products to climate change mitigation.
See programme for more details.
- Governments and EU institutions, International organizations in particular from forest, environment and energy departments)
- Forest based industries, pulp & paper industries and related associations
- Forest owners
- Energy sector and related associations
- Research organizations and universities
- Non-governmental organizations (environmental, climate)
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