Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

Other reports in this collection Fossil Fuel Substitution

The Guidelines capture reduced emissions resulting from fossil fuel substitution in the energy sector. Biomass fuels include wood, wood waste, charcoal, bio-alcohol, biogas, and so forth (IPCC, 1997, Vol. 1, p 1.20). The Guidelines state that "Biomass fuels are included in the national energy and carbon dioxide emissions accounts for information only. Within the energy module biomass consumption is assumed to equal its regrowth. Any departures from this hypothesis are counted within the Land Use Change and Forestry module" (IPCC, 1997, Vol. 2, p. 1.3). Specifically, under the UNFCCC, the accounting of biomass changes occurs in the "changes in forest and other woody biomass stocks" category of the LUCF module. Hence, fossil fuel substitution by reduced carbon dioxide emissions in the energy sector is already "rewarded."

To avoid underreporting, therefore, any changes in biomass stocks on lands under Article 3.4 resulting from the production of biofuels would need to be included in the accounts. For non-CO2 greenhouse gases, the situation differs because "non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from biomass as fuels are included in the Energy sector" (IPCC, 1997, Vol. 2, p. 1.15); hence, underreporting is not expected to occur.

6.3.3. Forest Harvesting and Wood Products

In the Guidelines, all CO2 emissions and removals associated with forest harvesting and the oxidation of wood products are accounted for in the year of harvesting by the country in which the wood was grown. This approach may be inaccurate because of the underlying assumption that there is no change in the size of the wood products pool.

To resolve this issue, the IPCC (Brown et al., 1999; Lim et al., 1999a) identified three approaches for estimating emissions and removals of CO2 from forest harvesting and wood products. All of these approaches are more data intensive than the current Guidelines, and concerns over their practicality have been raised (Maclaren, 1999; see also Chapter 2). Furthermore, if the Guidelines are applied, CO2 emissions from forest harvesting are already counted; therefore, these emissions should not be counted again. If wood products are brought into the inventory under the Protocol, however, more accurate methods-such as those described below-may be elaborated. Further work, however, cannot be initiated until there is guidance from the Parties on which, if any, of the approaches below is adopted.

Stock-change approach. This approach estimates net changes in carbon stocks in the forest and wood products pool. Changes in carbon stock in forests are accounted for in the country in which the wood is grown (the producing country). Changes in the products pool are accounted for in the country where the products are used (the consuming country). These stock changes are counted within national boundaries, where and when they occur.

Production approach. This approach also estimates net changes in carbon stocks in the forest and wood products pool, but it attributes both to the producing country. This approach inventories domestically produced stocks only and does not provide a complete inventory of national stocks. Stock changes are counted when but not where they occur if wood products are traded.

Atmospheric-flow approach. This approach accounts for net emissions or removals of carbon to and from the atmosphere within national boundaries, where and when the emissions and removals occur. Removals of carbon from the atmosphere resulting from forest growth is accounted for in the producing country; emissions of carbon to the atmosphere from oxidation of harvested wood products are accounted for in the consuming country.

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