The European Green Deal relies on forests and forestry for achieving European Union’s (EU-27) climate neutrality by 2050.
According to a recent multi-disciplinary report coordinated by European Forest Institute (EFI), forests and wood products are sink for 10% (380 MtCO2eq/year) of total greenhouse gases emitted in Europe. The study shows that forest and wood-based carbon sinks can be increased by 72 million MtCO2eq/year by reducing deforestation, increasing afforestation and with changes in wood end-uses towards long life-cycle products such as wood construction. These additional sinks can be further doubled to 130-140 MtCO2eq/year by implementing active silviculture, improved forest management, forest conservation and ecosystem restoration measures. In this scenario forest and wood products would neutralize over 500 MtCO2eq/year, which represents ca. 13% of current greenhouse gas emissions in Europe.
In addition to carbon sequestration, the proposed actions would have positive impacts on the biodiversity as well.
Verkerk, P.J., Delacote, P., Hurmekoski, E., Kunttu, J., Matthews, R., Mäkipää, R., Mosley, F., Perugini, L., Reyer, C. P. O., Roe, S., Trømborg, E. 2022. Forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation in Europe. From Science to Policy 14. European Forest Institute. https://doi.org/10.36333/fs14