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Green gold or carbon sink - or both?

Many interests when forest nations and EU are debating about management regulations
image forest
Photo: LUCCI/Elin Sundqvist

What should be the way forward of forestry in Sweden, and the EU? There are economic interests in the "green gold" in Sweden on a national level, and the climate change responsibility to use it as a carbon sink on a larger scale. The ongoing discussion is infected as land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) now will be incorporated in the EU accounting for carbon emissions, writes newspaper ETC.

On one hand, Sweden claims to be able to keep a sustainable forestry and still increase the capacity, while others say that to increase the forest management is not right for the future climate safety, the forest being an important carbon sink.

Anders Lindroth, professor emeritus at Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University, doing research on forest carbon budgets, says to ETC:
- "In principal, it would be the best for the climate to leave the forest be in nearby future, if one is looking for fast results".

The forest nations are in debate with for example the European Commission, Germany and Great Britain. One hot topic is where the limit of deforestration is for sustainable forestry. Very infected is the discussion whether Sweden´s forest management will be decided for at a national level, which many Swedish politicians want. Arguments by Swedish EU-parliamentarists are that forestry can be used for products gaining a switch to a more sustainable consumption, and that Sweden can keep a good forestry, still deciding for the national rate of deforestration with no need to be regulated by the EU.

Today the forest is counted to be a sink of about 10 percent of the EU emissions.

Source: ETC (in swedish)

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LUCCI - Lund University Centre for studies of Carbon Cycle and Climate Interactions

Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science

Lund University

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S-223 62 Lund, Sweden