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UNECE/FAO discuss wood energy on International Day of Forests

Wood energy is an important renewable energy source. The CO2 absorbed by growing trees is equivalent to the CO2 that is released by burning wood. In 2013, wood energy accounted for 3.5 percent of the total primary energy supply and 37.5% of the renewable energy supply among UNECE member States, making it the most important source of renewable energy.

“Wood energy will play an important role in order to provide affordable and clean energy to all people,” said Mr. Ekrem Yazici, Secretary of the European Forestry Commission at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). “As a renewable energy source, woody biomass can contribute significantly to lower carbon emissions and to the ambitious targets set out in the Paris Agreement, if the right measures are taken.”

Biomass should come from sustainably managed resources as one of the measures to make wood energy sustainable. In addition, appropriate fuel parameters should be considered to make the combustion more efficient, such as a low water content of the wood. Furthermore, efficient incinerators and good pollution abatement equipment in small-scale plants that burn local or regional woody biomass contribute to wood as a clean and sustainable energy source. “Information on how to make wood energy cleaner, less polluting and less harmful for human health is included in the education video More heat with less wood “explained Ms. Paola Deda, Secretary of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry.

“Forests and Energy” is also this year’s theme for the International Day of Forests celebrated on 21 March. On this occasion, the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section has organized a talk with Mr. Francisco Aguilar who will present his book Wood Energy in Developed Economies – Resource Management, Economies and Policies.

In the book, Mr. Aguilar presents the opportunities of wood energy as a contribution to renewable energy supply, energy security and socio-economic development as well as the risks in terms of forest ecosystems degradation, air pollution and disruption of other wood uses.

Mr. Aguilar is Associate Professor of Forest Resource Economics and Policy at the University of Missouri, USA, and member of the UNECE-FAO Team of Specialists on Wood Energy.

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Or contact:  florian.steierer@unece.org