Sweden has unveiled its Climate Roadmap – the country’s plan to help meet the EU initiative Roadmap 2050 for climate, transportation and energy. One key area to meet these goals, finds the plan, is the bio-based economy. For Sweden, its forest and forestry sector will play a major role in this emerging bio-based economy through more sustainable forest management, its ability to absorb carbon emissions, and it’s ability to be a feedstock for the creation of new biomaterials.
Linnaeus University will be launching a new initiative in January 2017, “Total carbon balance of Swedish forestry sector: Evaluate guidelines for climate roadmap 2050”. The goal of this project is to evaluate the actions and policies described in the climate roadmap and the effect on the total carbon balance of the Swedish forestry sector. Led by experts, the study will include assessments and evaluations of forest ecosystems, forest products’ carbon stock, material and energy use of forest based raw materials, waste and recycling of used forest products.
“To understand and describe the role of forests in climate benefits, it is important that the analysis includes the forestry sector as a whole. Then we can clarify not only how forestry affects the amount of carbon sequestered and stored in forests, but also how biofuels and other forest products can replace fossil fuels and energy-intensive products such as concrete and aluminum,” said Bishnu Chandra Poudel, researcher at the Department of Forestry and Wood Technology at Linnaeus University and project leader.
Chandra said the scientific challenge is to understand how different management systems and uses of biomass offer the greatest benefits to the climate. The study will also identify how the forestry industry is using its feedstocks – for example whether in use in buildings or to produce biofuels – and then assess the amount of forest products that will be required to meet all sector needs while contributing to Sweden’s climate roadmap.
The three-year project has received SEK 2,997,000 in a grant from Formas’ fund for research and development projects to research leaders of the future in 2016.