Wood-based energy as a strategy for climate change mitigation in the Arctic: assessment of climate impacts and resource efficiency with life cycle assessment (LCA)

Lead Author Laura, Sokka
Institution Contact Senior Scientist, Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. P.O. Box 1000 02044 VTT Finland Tel. +358401879067
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.1 Climate Change and Environmental Management in the Arctic
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 04:40 PM - 05:00 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Northern countries are committing themselves to large cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the next decades. For example, the EU has agreed to cut down its GHG emissions by 40% by 2030. In a similar manner, Norway has announced commitments to reduce its GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990. Achievement of these emission reduction targets will mean shifting the balance of energy consumption in the Arctic region towards renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass.
There are large forest resources in the Arctic region. Moreover, as a result of warming climate, the boreal forest line is expected to move northwards, displacing 11-50% of the tundra by boreal forests within the next 100 years. Increasing use of forest biomass for energy can provide emission reductions while also simultaneously help to reduce regional reliance on fossil fuels. On the other hand, increased mobilization of forest biomass for energy decreases the growth of forest carbon sink and may in some cases even turn it into a carbon source.

In the present paper the use of forest bioenergy to ensure energy security and climate change mitigation is assessed using life cycle assessment (LCA). Different value chains are studied with the aim of identifying those that are beneficial from both aspects. Impacts are compared to reference scenarios with alternative fossil fuels. Finally, conclusions are drawn on how to simultaneously enhance energy security and resource efficiency, and contribute to emission reduction.
 Download to your calendar