MO.2.D || Carbon Inventory and Management of Bio-Based Materials for a Post-Fossil Bioeconomy

Schau, Erwin M.; Tavzes, Črtomir; Gavrić, Igor; Šušteršič, Iztok; Prelovšek Niemelä, Eva; Dávid, Balázs; Pečnik, Jaka; DeVallance, David

More than one-hundred-ninety nations, including the European Union, have signed the Paris Agreement to limit temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. To meet these conditions requires a steep decline in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2030 and zero emissions by 2050. In this study, we investigated the role that wood products can play within Slovenia to reach the 2030 goal of 55 % reduction in GHG, as compared to 1990 levels. Slovenia, with over 58 % forest cover, is well positioned to utilize wood products to meet these climate goals. However, questions exist on how increased tree harvesting and local production and use of wood products contributes to replace fossil-based materials and lowering of GHG emissions. To better understand the importance of wood products to GHG emission reduction, the aim of this study was to present a model showing how the forest-based value chain (including construction) could help reach the Paris Agreement goals. We investigated the associated environmental impacts and their related economic costs. The results indicated that Slovenia could reach the 55 % GHG emissions reduction goal within 2030 through increasing tree harvesting, and using these resources to increase the amount of durable wood products produced within the country that store carbon for long periods and substitute for other high GHG emitting materials. Moreover, 15 out of 16 investigated life cycle impact assessment indicators (except land use) were found to be decreased within the presented wood-use scenario. However, to realize these potential reductions through the use of wood products relies on the building industry within Slovenia, where fossil- and mineral-based materials would need to be replaced with wood products. Acknowledgements: The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union; H2020 WIDESPREAD-2-Teaming (#739574) and the Republic of Slovenia.