On August 29, the on-line version of the Society of American Foresters’ Journal of Forestry published a strong defense of forest bio-energy’s role as a renewable and sustainable energy source with carbon storage benefits, written by an impressive slate of nine co-authors, including Dovetail Partners’ Jim Bowyer. Dovetail’s news release summarizes the main points of the 16-page article, pointing out the article’s relationship to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s forthcoming release of its “Carbon Accounting Framework for Biogenic Carbon Emissions,” a program that will significantly affect forestry and forest-dependent industries.
Based on an extensive literature review, the article argues that:
- The combination of long-lived forest products and forest bio-energy use reduces long-term carbon emission impacts;
- Increased wood demand can lead to increased forest area and forest productivity, also reducing carbon emission impacts;
- The “carbon debt” concept that has raised sustainability concerns with respect to bio-energy development has little relevance to the long-term carbon emissions associated with climate change projections; and
- Over a 100-year horizon, increased use of forest-derived materials for energy production will result in low net greenhouse gas emissions, especially compared to fossil fuel alternatives.
The Dovetail news release includes a link to the JOF article, "Forest Carbon Accounting Considerations in US Bioenergy Policy," although SAF login is required to access the full text.