LogoFORESTS BRANCH OFF ... into carbon sequestration and substitution

Climate change and forestry listserv - CLIM-FO-L

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:

An agreement was reached in COP6 Part 2 in Bonn, Germany in July 2001:

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:

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."

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.

For more information, contact: Bernhard Schlamadinger (bernhard.schlamadinger@joanneum.at ), (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:

    European Forest Institute (EFI),
    Torikatu 34, FIN-80100 Joensuu,
    Fax: +358 (0)13 124393;
    e-mail: efisec@efi.fi;


CO2FIX V 2.0 - A model for quantifying carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems and wood products

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.

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.

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:

Model outputs for representative forest systems are presented in Figures 2 and 3.




The future

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
the Netherlands.

E-mail: g.j.nabuurs@alterra.wag-ur.nl;


Dr Omar Masera and Jose Garza-Caligaris,
Laboratorio de Bioenergía,
Instituto de Ecología,
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM),
A.P. 27-3 (Xangari),
58089 Morelia,
Michoacán, Mexico.

E-mail: omasera@oikos.unam.mx;


Dr Markku Kanninen,
Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE),
7170 Turrialba,
Costa Rica.
E-mail: Kanninen@catie.ac.cr;


Dr Timo Karjalainen,
Ari Pussinen Msc.,
Jari Liski and Tuija Lapvetelainen,
European Forest Institute (EFI),
Torikatu 34, FIN-80100 Joensuu,
E-mail: Timo.karjalainen@efi.fi

Climate change prevention creates jobs

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.

Simposio Internacional: Medición y monitoreo de la captura de carbono en ecosistemas forestales

Valdivia, Chile

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.

Para más información, dirigirse a:

Jorge Gayoso Aguilar,
Presidente del Comité Organizador,
Instituto de Manejo Forestal,
Facultad de Ciencias Forestales,
Universidad Austral de Chile,
Valdivia, Chile.
Fax: +56 63 22231;
correo electrónico: carbono@uach.cl

Other climate change events

3rd International Symposium on Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases

Maastricht, the Netherlands
21-23 January 2002

For more information, please contact:
Dr Joop van Ham,
CLAN, PO Box 6013,
NL-2600 JA Delft,
the Netherlands.
Fax: +31 15 2613186.

Thinking Ahead: Energy in a Changing Climate

Boulder, Colorado, USA
24-26 January 2002

For more information, please contact:
Ghita Levenstein,
CU Environmental Center,
Campus Box 207,
University of Colorado,
Boulder, CO 80309,
E-mail: ecenter@colorado.edu;

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:

For more information, please contact:
Hilton Mundy,
First Conferences Ltd,
45 Whitechapel Road, Black Lion House, 3rd Floor,
London E1 1DU,
United Kingdom.
Fax: +44 (0)20 73757511;
e-mail: hmundy@firstconf.com;

Symposium on Utilization of Greenhouse Gases

Orlando, Florida, USA
7-11 April 2002

For more information, please contact:
Prof. Chang-jun Liu,
State Laboratory of C1 Chemical Technology,
Tianjin University,
PO Box 79666,
Tianjin 300072,
Fax: +86 22 27890078;
e-mail: changliu@public.tpt.tj.cn;

Sixth International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies

Kyoto, Japan
1-4 October 2002

For more information, please contact:

Norifumi Matsumiya,
RITE, 9-2 Kizugawadai,
Kizu-cho Soraku-gun,
Kyoto 619-0292, Japan.
Fax: +81 774 752314;
e-mail: ghgt@rite.or.jp;