Forests are vital to counter global warming, and an actively managed forest with a higher growth rate means that the forest’s role as a carbon dioxide collector increases further, as shown by Rolf Björheden’s recently released report Climate Impact of Swedish Forestry.
“The best thing for the climate is if we use the forest, but we cannot harvest more than it grows. The products manufactured from bio-based materials extend the storage of coal and reduce emissions from fossil fuels. A never harvested forest contains large amounts of carbon but no longer absorbs carbon dioxide. It is climate neutral. Forestry is thus a prerequisite for sustainable climate benefit.”
A long-term global goal is to absorb as much carbon dioxide in the forest as possible, and this is where active forestry must come into play on a significant scale, according to Rolf Björheden.
“We must strive for the highest possible average growth and cannot let the wood supply decrease. If the forest is to be able to mean anything in a global context, then it is high time to replant forest on the degenerate, former woodlands. There are 900 million hectares of land in the world – 40 times Sweden’s forest area – which is deemed suitable and not used for food production or otherwise. A gigantic but not impossible project,” says Björheden.