Trees and other vegetation absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow and a proportion of it is locked up in the wood fibre. Most forest carbon is found in the living biomass (44%) and soil organic matter (45%), with the remainder in dead wood and litter. With appropriate replanting and responsible forest management, long-term carbon stocks are maintained. Therefore, the forest acts as a carbon sink, withholding carbon from the atmosphere and so helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.
EU forests, for example, absorb the equivalent of nearly 10% of total EU greenhouse gas emissions each year. Global forest carbon stocks are estimated to be 861 billion tonnes or 27 times the world’s annual carbon emissions from fossil fuels.
Download the Paper Production and Sustainable Forests fact sheet to find out more.