'The available data demonstrate that the greenhouse gas emissions along the forest products value chain are largely offset by the sequestration accomplished in forest products'.
Source: National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI), Special report 2007 - 02
This is the Summary
The global forest products industry's carbon and greenhouse gas profile is composed of emissions, sequestration, and avoided emissions. Emissions from the forest products value chain are comprised of direct emissions from manufacturing (~260 million tonnes CO2 per year), as well as a number of different types of indirect emissions including those associated with electricity purchases (~190 million tonnes CO2 per year), transport (~70 million tonnes CO2 per year) and methane from discarded forest products in landfills (~250 million tonnes CO2 equivalents per year). Carbon is sequestered in forests used to supply fiber to the industry (net sequestration of at least 60 million tonnes CO2 per year) and in forest products (~540 million tonnes CO2 per year). Avoided emissions, which further enhance the industry's global profile, are associated with the industry's use of biomass fuels (~175 million tonnes CO2 avoided per year), combined heat and power (~95 million tonnes CO2 avoided per year), recycling (~150 million tonnes CO2 equivalents avoided per year) and product substitution effects (not possible to estimate on global basis). Although the estimates are subject to considerable uncertainty, they clearly indicate that the greenhouse gas emissions that occur along the forest products industry value chain are largely offset by sequestration.
Net emissions from the global forest products industry value chain are expected to decline for several important reasons. First, the industry is expected to continue to reduce the carbon intensity of manufacturing. Second, landfill methane releases are expected to continue to decline because of efforts to control what is placed in landfills and the growth in the use of landfills designed and operated to minimize methane releases. Third, carbon sequestration in products will become an even larger piece of the industry's profile as the demand for forest products increases in response to population growth and increasing standards of living.
Continued progress in improving the industry's greenhouse gas and carbon profile will depend on industry maintaining its efforts to reduce emissions intensity. Private investment and public policies will also be needed to ensure adequate supplies of biomass for raw material and fuel. Also critical will be policies that keep forest products out of landfills and control methane releases from landfills.