Forestry for a low-carbon future: integrating forests and wood products in climate change strategies
Forests have an acclaimed role as a carbon sink needed to tackle climate change. Less known is how their contribution can be scaled up even after a tree has been logged. A new FAO publication, Forestry for a low-carbon future: Integrating forests and wood products in climate change strategies, offers insights in how to catalyse a "virtuous cycle" that exploits the life cycle of wood products - ranging from home furniture to wood pellets burned for fuel - to enhance and even multiply the well-known ability of forests to remove and store carbon from the atmosphere. Forests are at the heart of the transition to low-carbon economies, not only because of their double role as sink and source of emissions, but also through the wider use of wood products to displace more fossil fuel intense products. Forests do herculean work in locking carbon dioxide into leaves, branches and soils, while deforestation and forest degradation account for up to 12 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. The relative speed and cost-effectiveness with which forests make their presence - or absence - felt is one key reason they figure prominently in the plans countries are crafting to meet commitments made in the Paris Agreement on climate change.