Forestry and climate change
Woodfuels and climate change
Wood fuels currently account for a greater share of global energy consumption than all other forms of “renewable” energy combined. Biofuels, especially fuelwood and charcoal, currently provide more than 14 percent of the world's total primary energy. Social and economic scenarios indicate a continuous growth in the demand for woodfuels that is expected to continue for several decades.
In developing countries, the dependence on such fuels is much greater; they provide about one-third of the total energy in these countries, and as much as 80 percent of energy is derived from biofuels in some sub-regions of Africa. In developed countries, wood energy (mainly for heat and power generation) is being increasingly used as an environmentally sound source of energy that provides a potential substitute for fossil fuels and has the ability to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Forest and Climate Change Programme has prepared three reports on wood fuels and their role in climate change mitigation.
The publication explores the scope and potential for woodfuels to replace fossil fuels thereby contributing to climate change mitigation. The global and regional potential for and implications of woodfuel development for climate change mitigation and the current woodfuel offset mechanisms in place and their relative emissions reduction potentials is analysed. The publication identifies a number of barriers that preclude the full use of this mitigation potential. Policy reforms to encourage environmental sustainability, increased productivity, improved infrastructure and planning are essential for large-scale implementation.
This publication examines the scope and potential for wood fuels to replace fossil fuels thereby contributing to climate change mitigation in three countries – Brazil, India and Mexico. The potential for and implications of wood fuel development for climate change mitigation is analyzed. The publication also presents the current (woodfuel) offset mechanisms in place and their relative emissions reduction potentials.
This publication assesses the environmental, social and economic issues as well as the legal and institutional frameworks that can ensure the sustainable production of woodfuels from forests, trees outside forests and other sources. The study continues FAO’s long interest in wood energy issues and complements the many other FAO reports on wood energy and sustainable forest management.