As a commitment to the EU initiative Roadmap 2050 for climate, transport and energy, The Swedish government has drawn a plan for reaching zero net greenhouse gas emission by 2050.
Yet, for achieving such an important goal, some considerable efforts will have to be made. A bio-based economy is one of the key factors, which would have to be based on renewable raw materials, with sustainable production and use.
An analysis made by Linnaeus University shows that the Swedish forest and forestry sector will thus play a major role in the work, not only owing to the forest's ability to assimilate carbon dioxide but also with a smarter use of forest resources. New biomaterials can also be developed with new solutions and perspectives.
"Total carbon balance of Swedish forestry sector: Evaluate guidelines for climate roadmap 2050" is the name of the new project that the university will start in January 2017, as a basis for the road toward reaching the zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The aim of the project is to evaluate the actions and policies described in the climate roadmap and the effect on the total carbon balance of the Swedish forestry sector.
Leading experts will evaluate the nature of the include forest ecosystems, forest products' carbon stock, material and energy use of forest based raw materials, waste and recycling of used forest products.
"To understand and describe the role of forests in climate benefits, it is important that the analysis includes the forestry sector as a whole. Then we can clarify not only how forestry affects the amount of carbon sequestered and stored in forests, but also how biofuels and other forest products can replace fossil fuels and energy-intensive products such as concrete and aluminum," says Bishnu Chandra Poudel, researcher at the Department of Forestry and Wood Technology at Linnaeus University and project leader.
Based on the abundant supply of forests in Sweden, it is important to know how much forest products are required to meet the needs of different sectors and how these can contribute to achieving the climate roadmap 2050, says the analysis.
The project will be on for 3 years and has received SEK 2,997,000 in a grant from Formas' fund for research and development projects to research leaders of the future in 2016.