Wood Products and Carbon Protocols

Lead Author: Dr. Jim Bowyer

Publish date: 04.28.2008

 

Carbon Storage and Low Energy Intensity Should Be Considered

 

In developing incentives and protocols to reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon sequestration, one glaring omission stands out. Storage of carbon within wood products has thus far been ignored by policy analysts, as has the low energy intensity (and even lower fossil fuel intensity) of wood products in general. The omission is significant since in the United States alone carbon stored within wood products is over one-third that being sequestered annually within the nation's forests.

 

The lack of recognition of lower energy and fossil fuel intensity is even more serious because the impact of these factors on carbon flux is substantially greater than that attributable to carbon storage. The data on carbon storage in wood products and their low-energy intensity is increasingly well documented and readily available.

 

The time is right and strong opportunities exist for carbon protocols and markets for carbon credits to recognize the carbon storage benefits of wood products.