This is our regular feature highlighting bioenergy aspects of climate change covered in recent issues of the CLIM-FO-L.
In November 2001, COP7 closed in Marrakech, Morocco with an agreement:
· The Marrakech Accords can be downloaded from:
· Governments ready to ratify Kyoto Protocol
(Press release by the UNFCCC secretariat)
Marrakech, 10 November 2001:
An agreement was reached in COP6 Part 2 in Bonn, Germany in July 2001:
· Special report: The Bonn climate conference,
published 16 July 2001
· UK hails new Kyoto deal, 23 July 2001 (BBC
Research publication on climate change and forestry
Effects of New Zealand's climate change policies on the forestry sector. Stage I: preliminary assessment.
Report to Wood Processing Strategy Climate Change Group by the New Zealand
Institute of Economic Research (Inc.), September 2001.
When discussing climate change policies, it is widely assumed that the forestry sector would gain from them owing to the carbon sequestration benefits associated with forests. However, the analysis carried out in this report indicates negative consequences for the forest industry.
This report provides a review of the likely effects of future climate change policies on the New Zealand forestry industry, which include different subsectors such as forestry (planting and maintenance), logging, wood and wood products. It states that for the wood-processing sector, the Kyoto Protocol will clearly bring a loss of international competitiveness relative to non-Annex I countries. Although the picture is more complicated, the forestry sector is also likely to be negatively affected for the following reasons:
1) More than two thirds of New Zealand's total stock of managed forests were planted before 1990. The implementation of climate change policies would reduce returns to these forests by subsidizing post-1990 forests and giving incentive to increase the log supply in non-Annex I countries.
2) The Kyoto Protocol devalues pre-1990 forests as the option value of changing to a non-forest land use is reduced.
3) The value of future carbon credits and future log prices will determine the level of plantation forestry versus permanent forest cover. If carbon credit values increase, an increasing proportion of post-1990 forests is likely to be locked up as permanent cover.
4) The impact of the introduction of sinks under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) on the competitiveness of New Zealand's forest industries would be limited because of the conditions which CDM projects need to fulfil before they are approved.
The second stage of this study proposes developing quantitative models to calculate the effects on the supply of logs in New Zealand and the consequent price effects and the investment in the wood-processing capacity in New Zealand.
The paper can be downloaded from: www.nzier.org.nz/, under NZIER Reports (CLIM-FO No. 13/2001).
Renting carbon offsets: the question of permanence, by Roger A. Sedjo, Gregg Marland and Kristy Fruit.
How to address the problem that carbon sequestered in the terrestrial biosphere may lack permanence has been hotly debated. In this paper, the authors argue: "Just as a space can be rented to provide for the temporary parking of a car, space could be rented for parking carbon."
The paper describes a system whereby carbon emission credits would be rented, rather than sold, when carbon is sequestered but permanence of sequestration is either not certain or not desired. A rental contract can allow the "buyer/renter" to enjoy the limited-term benefits of the asset while the "seller/host" retains long-term discretion.
The authors argue that "the effect of renting carbon on an individual project basis should increase total global carbon sequestration.... In a world where there are incentives (payments) for carbon sequestration services we would expect more sequestration to be provided at any future time than if no payments were being made."
The paper can be downloaded from: www.weathervane.rff.org/features/feature136.htm (CLIM-FO No. 12/2001).
Capping the cost of compliance with the Kyoto Protocol and recycling revenues into land-use projects, by B. Schlamadinger et al. 2001. The Scientific World, 1: 271-280.
This paper proposes a mechanism that addresses two concerns: that of compliance costs with commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and that of possible exclusion of land use, land-use change and forestry activities from consideration under the Kyoto Protocol owing to technical difficulties with such activities in non-Annex I countries. The proposed mechanism suggests that parties should be able to purchase fixed-price offset certificates if they feel they cannot achieve compliance through other means alone, such as by improved energy efficiency, increased use of renewable energy or use of the flexible mechanisms in the Kyoto Protocol. These offset certificates would act as a price cap for the cost of compliance for any party to the protocol. Revenues from the purchase of the offset certificates would be directed to forest-based activities in non-Annex I countries such as forest protection that may carry multiple benefits including enhancing net carbon sequestration.
Both papers can be downloaded from: www.thescientificworld.com/publications/publishedArticles.asp
For more information, contact: Bernhard Schlamadinger (email@example.com ), (CLIM-FO No.10/2001).
The original ten questions were posed in a recent issue of
EFI News in an effort to clarify the situation surrounding carbon
sequestration. The first seven questions and answers were reproduced in
the last two issues of Forest Energy Forum. Here are the final
three. Is it better to invest in a bioenergy short-rotation plantation
or in a long-rotation forest type? This depends on which carbon impacts are accounted for. When the
effect of wood on reducing carbon emissions is taken into account,
bioenergy plantations are more beneficial in the long term. On the other
hand, long-rotation forests provide other non-wood products and, in some
cases, these other products may have a significant impact on the policy
decision. Do I as a forest owner benefit from all this? Up to now forest owners have not gained anything from the carbon
sequestration function of their forests. This may change, however. In
the Kyoto Protocol, industrialized countries have committed themselves
to reducing their carbon emissions. In addition, some countries have
initiated a carbon emission tax. For instance, in the Netherlands a
carbon tax of A 19 is charged for emissions containing carbon, which
would be equivalent to the amount of carbon in 1 m3 of wood
(or 0.25 tonnes C sequestered). Where emissions are taxed, sequestration
should be rewarded with the same amount. What is a "Kyoto forest"? The Kyoto Protocol states that some measures in forestry may be
taken in order to achieve the agreed emissions reduction. It is yet
unclear, however, how the terms "afforestation", "reforestation" and
"deforestation" are going to be defined. The protocol also mentions that
further decisions are to be taken on additional activities in the
agricultural and forestry sector. Furthermore, the accounting systems
need to be agreed. For example, forests established on previously
agricultural land since 1990 are accounted for. The stock change of
these forests between 2008 and 2012 is then counted as a credit. On the
other hand, conversion of a forest in 2008 into a shopping mall or
highway would, as a consequence of this deforestation and loss of
carbon, then be counted as a debit. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been
working on a special report on land use, land-use change and
forestry to serve decision-makers in implementing the Kyoto
Protocol. The IPCC special report will be ready in May 2000.
(Source: EFI News, June 2000.) For more information, please contact:
The original ten questions were posed in a recent issue of EFI News in an effort to clarify the situation surrounding carbon sequestration. The first seven questions and answers were reproduced in the last two issues of Forest Energy Forum. Here are the final three.
Is it better to invest in a bioenergy short-rotation plantation or in a long-rotation forest type?
This depends on which carbon impacts are accounted for. When the effect of wood on reducing carbon emissions is taken into account, bioenergy plantations are more beneficial in the long term. On the other hand, long-rotation forests provide other non-wood products and, in some cases, these other products may have a significant impact on the policy decision.
Do I as a forest owner benefit from all this?
Up to now forest owners have not gained anything from the carbon sequestration function of their forests. This may change, however. In the Kyoto Protocol, industrialized countries have committed themselves to reducing their carbon emissions. In addition, some countries have initiated a carbon emission tax. For instance, in the Netherlands a carbon tax of A 19 is charged for emissions containing carbon, which would be equivalent to the amount of carbon in 1 m3 of wood (or 0.25 tonnes C sequestered). Where emissions are taxed, sequestration should be rewarded with the same amount.
What is a "Kyoto forest"?
The Kyoto Protocol states that some measures in forestry may be taken in order to achieve the agreed emissions reduction. It is yet unclear, however, how the terms "afforestation", "reforestation" and "deforestation" are going to be defined. The protocol also mentions that further decisions are to be taken on additional activities in the agricultural and forestry sector. Furthermore, the accounting systems need to be agreed. For example, forests established on previously agricultural land since 1990 are accounted for. The stock change of these forests between 2008 and 2012 is then counted as a credit. On the other hand, conversion of a forest in 2008 into a shopping mall or highway would, as a consequence of this deforestation and loss of carbon, then be counted as a debit.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been working on a special report on land use, land-use change and forestry to serve decision-makers in implementing the Kyoto Protocol. The IPCC special report will be ready in May 2000. (Source: EFI News, June 2000.)
For more information, please contact:
Further agreement has been reached at COPs 6 and 7 regarding implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. Clarification was given to the role that forests and forest management may play in reaching a nation's emission reduction commitment. This agreement can be seen as the result of a long process of scientific and political discussions on the role of the global biosphere in the global carbon cycle, and it is one step further towards real-life implementation of carbon sequestration projects in forests and forest management.
In the past, the potential contribution that forests can provide to curbing the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide had initiated many studies into the possibilities of enhancing and maintaining carbon sequestration of global forests. Options for the enhancement and maintenance of carbon sequestration are: stopping deforestation, expanding forest area, increasing the carbon stock in existing forests (including soils), increasing the use and life span of wood products and using wood products as biofuels for substituting fossil fuels.
However, quantifying the likely results of the above-mentioned options is difficult because carbon sequestration in forests consists of stocks and fluxes in various compartments in the forest ecosystem as well as in manufactured wood products. Management that focuses on the enhancement of carbon in, for example, forest biomass therefore also has an impact on soils and wood products. Furthermore, study results are difficult to compare because of the differences in the forest types, site types, management systems and monitoring methodology used, or because only parts of the carbon cycle of a forest ecosystem-wood products chain are regarded, or because different time scales are used.
The CASFOR project
To address these issues and provide insight in the temporal dynamics of carbon sequestration, a multi-institutional effort - being carried out by ALTERRA in the Netherlands, the Instituto de Ecología of the National University of Mexico in Mexico, the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) in Costa Rica and the European Forest Institute in Finland - was launched under the auspices of the European Union through the "Carbon sequestration in afforestation and sustainable forest management" (CASFOR) project.
The team first developed CO2FIX V 1.0, designed for even-aged monospecies stands. Later, this version of CO2FIX was further developed into a Windows-based user-friendly program and released through the World Wide Web in June 1999. Since then, 851 users from 75 countries have downloaded the software and applied it in several studies, or further developed it. The model has also been used by the IPCC.
In November 2001 the research team launched Version 2.0, again through the World Wide Web. CO2FIX V 2.0 is an ecosystem-level simulation model that quantifies the carbon stocks and fluxes in the forest using a full carbon accounting approach. It has been programmed in C++ using an object-oriented programming environment. The model is divided into three main modules: biomass, soil organic matter and products, and runs with time-steps of one year (see Figure 1). The model produces output in improved tabular and graphic forms on:
· the ability to simulate multispecies and uneven-aged
stands in multiple cohorts;
· the ability to parameterize the growth also by stand density;
· the ability to deal with inter-cohort competition;
· allocation, processing lines, and end-of-life disposal of harvested wood;
· soil dynamics;
· the ability to deal with a wider variety of forest types including agroforestry systems, selective logging systems and post-harvesting mortality.
Model outputs for representative forest systems are presented in Figures 2 and 3.
FIGURE 1. AN OVERVIEW OF THE WINDOWS-BASED CO2FIX V 2.0
FIGURE 2. CARBON STOCKS IN A PINE-OAK NATIVE MANAGED FOREST IN MEXICO
FIGURE 3. CARBON STOCKS IN A COFFEE AGROFORESTRY SYSTEM IN COSTA RICA
The research group will continue to improve the model. Further work will include the strengthening of user feedback, creating a users' support group and a case study database, with validated parameters for the most common systems worldwide. A bioenergy module directed to estimate the carbon substitution implications of the different forest systems will be added to the model. The CO2FIX model will also be upscaled to the landscape level and will be integrated into a geographic information system (GIS). The current version of the model can be downloaded from the Web site (www.efi.fi/projects/casfor).
For more information, please contact:
Dr ir. Gert-Jan Nabuurs,
G.M.J. Mohren and ir. M.J. Schelhaas,
Wageningen University and Research Center,
ALTERRA, PO Box 47, 6700 AA
Dr Omar Masera and Jose
Laboratorio de Bioenergía,
Instituto de Ecología,
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM),
A.P. 27-3 (Xangari),
Dr Markku Kanninen,
Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE),
Dr Timo Karjalainen,
Ari Pussinen Msc.,
Jari Liski and Tuija Lapvetelainen,
European Forest Institute (EFI),
Torikatu 34, FIN-80100 Joensuu,
According to a new report entitled The employment impact of climate protection policies: study on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency, investing in climate change prevention measures is cost effective in the long term. Jürgen Tritten, German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, said that job creation is an important element of climate change prevention in Germany, particularly as the country's phase-out of nuclear energy will commence in 2003. He cited an estimate that 194 000 new jobs will be created through climate protection programmes by 2020.
Stephan Wolf, on behalf of Janina Scheelhaase, Prognos AG, presented findings from the report illustrating that climate protection programmes are not harmful to job creation. He noted that a 40 percent CO2 emissions reduction scenario results in permanent employment in the construction and energy sectors, and that changes in employment would take place primarily in small and medium-sized enterprises and local economies. His conclusion was that climate protection goals could be met without creating job losses and that positive synergy effects exist between environmental and employment policy goals.
Volkmar Schäfer, eta Energieberatung, described his experiences with a biomass cogeneration power plant in Pfaffenhofen, Germany, which produces power, heat and cooling by burning wood chips. After giving an overview of the logistics systems for wood procurement, energy conversion for biomass cogeneration and heat consumption customers, including industries, hospitals and households, he noted that the project provides employment for more than 200 people in construction, forestry and engineering.
Claus Pescha, Enercon, noted that changes in employment in the renewable energy sector include an estimated increase of 2 million new jobs in Europe and emphasized that it is realistic to develop and invest in renewable technologies. (Source: ENB on the side, Issue 4, CXOP-6 Part II.)
18 al 20 de octubre de 2001
Un centenar de investigadores del área medioambiental provenientes de 17 países se reunieron y analizaron las metodologías para medir la capacidad de captura de carbono de los distintos ecosistemas forestales. Durante el simposio organizado por la Facultad de Ciencias Forestales de la Universidad Austral de Chile se compartieron experiencias y discutieron diferentes aspectos que se refieren a la captura de carbono.
En el encuentro se tocaron temas relacionados con la estimación de biomasa o con componentes de la biomasa de diferentes tipos de bosques; se discutió la importancia de profundizar en los procesos de fotosíntesis para el modelo de balances de carbono, sobre todo de especies con potencial para la captura de dicho elemento; se describieron metodologías de estimación del stock de carbono en los diferentes componentes de los ecosistemas forestales; y se analizó el impacto de incluir el carbono en el sistema de producción forestal tradicional y el de incluir las entradas adicionales en la rentabilidad de los sistemas de manejo que se practican actualmente. Algunas exposiciones ilustraron cómo se construye una línea base, los problemas que existen y las incertidumbres a las cuales se van a enfrentar los proyectos a la hora de construir estas líneas de base y de estimar sus flujos, y los cambios en los contenidos de carbono para poder formular el efecto real de los proyectos.
Durante las conclusiones se resaltó que existe un avance metodológico importante, pero también la necesidad de estandarizar las metodologías, dado que los datos obtenidos deberían ser compartidos y analizados más allá de cada situación particular. Asimismo se instó a completar el proceso de la investigación, publicando los esfuerzos realizados y los resultados obtenidos.
Se hizo notar que hace falta reforzar los aspectos que van más allá de la medición del stock, como por ejemplo entender mejor los temas de permanencia, línea de base, fugas y aspectos que apuntan hacia la formulación de proyectos. Como último punto se llamó a profundizar e intensificar las relaciones entre los participantes para instalar una red donde puedan comunicarse, realizar consultas y compartir las experiencias en desarrollo. Se trata de darle continuidad al grupo, porque se percibe la necesidad de trabajar juntos en los temas antes mencionados.
Para más información, dirigirse a:
Jorge Gayoso Aguilar,
Presidente del Comité Organizador,
Instituto de Manejo Forestal,
Facultad de Ciencias Forestales,
Universidad Austral de Chile,
Fax: +56 63 22231;
correo electrónico: firstname.lastname@example.org
3rd International Symposium on Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases
Maastricht, the Netherlands
21-23 January 2002
For more information, please
Dr Joop van Ham,
CLAN, PO Box 6013,
NL-2600 JA Delft,
Fax: +31 15 2613186.
Thinking Ahead: Energy in a Changing Climate
Boulder, Colorado, USA
24-26 January 2002
For more information, please
CU Environmental Center,
Campus Box 207,
University of Colorado,
Boulder, CO 80309,
Eyeforenergy Emissions Trading 2002
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
19-21 February 2002
Emissions trading is now a reality. Many national incentive schemes are now in line to kick-start this emerging market that promises a global profitable solution for the world's largest emitters. The Netherlands programme Erupt, for example, is already well under way and United Kingdom companies are currently posting emissions bids in preparation for the first auction of the United Kingdom trading scheme.
This meeting, which will be held at Okura Hotel, Amsterdam, is being organized by Eyeforenergy who are holding the event in conjunction with their European online trading conference, Energy Trading in the New Economy.
Issues to be covered include:
· The market for emissions
· Emissions incentives
· European Union proposals
· The outcome of the first United Kingdom auction
· Post COP7: future joint implementation and Clean Development Mechanism opportunities
· Your emissions strategy
· Products and price
· Ways to trade.
For more information, please
First Conferences Ltd,
45 Whitechapel Road, Black Lion House, 3rd Floor,
London E1 1DU,
Fax: +44 (0)20 73757511;
Symposium on Utilization of Greenhouse Gases
Orlando, Florida, USA
7-11 April 2002
For more information, please
Prof. Chang-jun Liu,
State Laboratory of C1 Chemical Technology,
PO Box 79666,
Fax: +86 22 27890078;
Sixth International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies
1-4 October 2002
For more information, please contact:
RITE, 9-2 Kizugawadai,
Kyoto 619-0292, Japan.
Fax: +81 774 752314;