We have enough bioenergy resources to fight against climate change

Forest pruning

Many scientific experts have studied the global carbon cycle in the last thirty years or more, and have reached a high level of consensus: Using low-value forest products for bioenergy use will not create any "carbon deficits" and will improve forest carbon stocks.

Bioenergetic resources

Simplifying the facts to the fullest: the carbon that is emitted by the use of bioenergy on a global scale (together with the emissions involved in its production, harvest, etc.) represents less than the net photosynthetic production of its supply chain, so there is a net removal of carbon from the atmosphere.

The amount of carbon that is set annually globally as chemical energy in biomass is equivalent to four to five times the total global consumption of primary energy today, so we are very far from exceeding that limit.

However, it is important to carry out this carbon count through appropriate time and space scales. It is a complex issue, and the subtle details are not always visible nor are they considered equally, depending on whether they are the activists or political decision-makers who analyze it.

A necessary balance

It leads to confusion focusing on the carbon emitted at the time of bioenergetic use. In a managed system of forest rotation, each tonne of biomass that is harvested and burned is balanced by one tonne of new biomass that grows at some point nearby.

If we take a look at an area of ​​this type, which provides a supply to a bioenergy power plant, and measure it according to a time schedule adapted to the forestry practice, it is verified that the harvest index is at least equaled by the rate of regrowth

Humanity has exploited forest products for centuries, sometimes well, and sometimes badly (for example in nineteenth-century Europe), but more recent history has shown that wood for large-scale construction, the production of wood Paper and bioenergy can coexist with healthy forest carbon stocks both now and in the future.

The article is based on a platform written by:

Professor Iain Donnison, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, University of Aberystwyth, United Kingdom.

Professor Leif Gustavsson, Department of Technology of Environmental Construction and Energy, University of Linnaeus, Sweden.

Dr. H. Martin Junginger, Professor of Bio-Economics, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Dr. Jonathan Scurlock, "Visiting Fellow", at the Open University, United Kingdom.

Professor Nilay Shah, Department of Chemical Engineering, at the "Imperial College" in London.

Professor Richard Templer, "Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment", "Imperial College" London.

Dr. Jeremy Woods, "Senior Lecturer" in Bioenergy, "Imperial College", London.

Source: EFEVERDE and the European network of EURACTIV

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