Main content area

Impact of the 2°C target on global woody biomass use

Lauri, Pekka, Forsell, Nicklas, Korosuo, Anu, Havlík, Petr, Obersteiner, Michael, Nordin, Annika
Forest policy and economics 2017 v.83 pp. 121-130
biomass, biosphere, chemical pulp, energy, fiberboards, forest industries, industrial byproducts, lumber, mechanical pulp, models, plywood, raw materials, roundwood, tropics, Africa, North America, Russia, South America
In this study we investigate the implications of reaching the 2°C climate target for global woody biomass use by applying the Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM) and the recently published SSP-RCP scenario calculations. We show that the higher biomass demand for energy needed to reach the 2°C target can be achieved without significant distortions to woody biomass material use and that it can even benefit certain forest industries and regions. This is because the higher woody biomass use for energy increases the demand for forest industry by-products, which makes forest industry final products production more profitable and compensates for the cost effect of increased competition over raw materials. The higher woody biomass use for energy is found to benefit sawnwood, plywood and chemical pulp production, which provide large amounts of by-products, and to inhibit fiberboard and mechanical pulp production, which provide small amounts of by-products. At the regional level, the higher woody biomass use for energy is found to benefit material production in regions, which use little roundwood for energy (Russia, North-America and EU28), and to inhibit material production in regions, which use large amounts of roundwood for energy (Asia, Africa and South-America). Even if the 2°C target increases harvest volumes in the tropical regions significantly compared to the non-mitigation scenario, harvest volumes remain in these regions at a relatively low level compared to the harvest potential.