Projection of the Carbon Balance of the Hungarian Forestry and Wood Industry Sector Using the Forest Industry Carbon Model

Borovics, Attila and Király, Éva Ilona and Kottek, Péter (2024) Projection of the Carbon Balance of the Hungarian Forestry and Wood Industry Sector Using the Forest Industry Carbon Model. FORESTS, 15 (4). ISSN 1999-4907

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As forest-based climate change mitigation has become a crucial element of international climate policy it is of increasing importance to understand the processes leading to the carbon offsetting capacity of the sector. In our study, we assessed the climate benefits of contrasting forest management strategies: decreasing harvest and enlarging the forest carbon stock, or increasing harvest to increase carbon uptake, wood product carbon pools, and substitution effects. We developed the Forest Industry Carbon Model (FICM) which is a new carbon accounting tool covering forest biomass, dead organic matter, soil, and harvested wood product pools, as well as avoided emissions through product and energy substitution. We modeled the carbon balance of the Hungarian forest industry under three different scenarios. In the business as usual (BAU) scenario, we assumed no changes in the current harvest and afforestation levels. In the extensification scenario, we assumed that the harvest and afforestation levels drop to half, while in the intensification scenario, we assumed an increase in afforestation, improved industrial wood assortments, and a gradual increase in logging, reaching the highest level as per sustainability criteria by 2050. Our results show that the intensification scenario is characterized by the largest net removals and the maximized product and energy substitution effects. By 2050, the net forest industry carbon balance reaches −8447 kt CO2 eq under the BAU scenario, while −7011 kt CO2 eq is reached under the extensification scenario and −22,135 kt CO2 eq is reached under the intensification scenario. Although substitution effects are not accounted for under the land-based (LULUCF) sector in the greenhouse gas inventory, the emission reductions in the industry and energy sectors have beneficial effects on the national carbon balance. Modeling results show that the 2030 LULUCF greenhouse gas removal target set by EU legislation for Hungary is reached under the intensification scenario. To achieve this outcome, widespread innovation is needed in the wood sector. The modeling results show that nonutilization of forests can only be a very short-term solution; however, its favorable effects will be reversed by 2050 resulting in additional emissions compared to the BAU scenario.

Tudományterület / tudományág

agricultural sciences > forestry and wildlife management
natural sciences > environmental science


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Item Type: Article
SWORD Depositor: Teszt Sword
Depositing User: Csaba Horváth
Identification Number: MTMT:34758855
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2024 12:59
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2024 12:59

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