The Swedish forestry model
Biofuel is part of the sustainable forestry production because biofuel from the forest is about taking out tips and branches that are produced when felling and thinning forests. And that biofuel can substitute fossil fuels, and that is extremely important from a climate point of view.
Olof Johansson - Head of environment and sustainable development, Sveaskog
One of the leading countries within forestry production, Sweden is also using forestry production to combat climate change.
The Swedish forestry model is built on regenerating forests, so when the old forest is taken away a new forest is established. It is when the forest is young and middle aged that it grows most rapidly, hence absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. By monitoring and using modern technology, forest experts indentify trees that should be harvested and trees that should be left behind.
Taken as a whole the annual felling amounts to less volume than the annual growth. The growth in the forest also provides society access to a larger volume of renewable biomass, which can be substituted, for fossil energy and other non-renewable material. Today bio-fuel from forest production is responsible for 26% of Sweden’s total energy production.
The net reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from Swedish forestry and wood production is calculated at 60 million metric tons a year. This is equivalent to the total carbon dioxide emissions for the entire country.
The future target for Swedish forestry is to increase the forest growth by 20% by 2030. This will result in the forest capturing even more carbon dioxide while simultaneously producing more renewable wood raw material. The impact will be that carbon dioxide can be captured at double the rate of which it is today.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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