Forests and climate

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher

Forests contribute positively to a sustainable climate balance, both as a carbon sink and a renewable resource that can replace alternatives more harmful to the climate.

Forests play an important role in the climate system, as they consume CO2 and store carbon in biomass and soils.
Forests play an important role in the climate system, as they consume CO2 and store carbon in biomass and soils. Credit: Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Norwegian forests have a net uptake of CO2 equivalent to half of our total annual emissions of greenhouse gases. Worldwide forests and non-urban areas consume 25 percent of total global CO2 emissions.

Increased use of wood is climate friendly

In addition to forests acting as a carbon sinks, the increased use of wood as a renewable raw material is an important part of the climate solution.

Wood is part of the natural carbon cycle. Wooden buildings and other wood products contribute to long-term storage of carbon throughout their product life, and when discarded they may fuel bioenergy production.

Wood can replace non-renewable construction materials, or materials that leave a larger carbon footprint. It can also replace petroleum-based fuels, solid fuels, and raw materials used in a wide range of products.

Both wood and oil actually consist largely of the chemical element carbon. To replace "black carbons" with "green carbons" can benefit both the economy as well as the climate.

Everything currently made from petroleum, could in the future be made from wood.

The supply of raw materials in Norway is steadily increasing. After a long period of primarily extraction of forest resources, the timber volume in Norway has tripled over the past 100 years - from 300 million cubic meters in 1919 to about 900 million today.