Next generation carbon stock and stock change modelling in wood use: towards contributing to climate change mitigation pathways

T2.3 Contribution of wood-based products to climate change mitigation: State-of-the-art and research directions


Timokleia Orfanidou1, 2, Giuseppe Cardellini3, Amelie Müller3,4, Hans Verkerk1
1 Bioeconomy Programme, European Forest Institute (EFI), Finland
2 Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Aalto University, Finland
3 Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Sustainable Energy for the Built Environment (SEB), Belgium
4 Leiden University, Institute for Environmental Sciences (CML), Netherlands



Ambitious goals are set globally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This necessitates urgent societal and economic reforms, as well greenhouse gas reductions across all sectors. Wood use plays a critical role but estimating its contribution to climate change mitigation is hampered by limited information notably on the final uses of wood. Consideration of the final uses of wood and their lifespan is crucial since it influences the carbon storage and determines the substitution potentials. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a dynamic material flow analysis for Europe that connects existing statistics on the production, consumption, and trade of semi-finished products to final uses.

We employed the Open Dynamic Material Systems Model (ODYM), which has been calibrated to track wood flows and temporary carbon storage in harvested wood products while taking their final uses into account, in accordance with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change guidelines. Our findings will provide an understanding of how wood has been used in the European Union from the 1900s to the present, from wood production to final uses (construction, furniture, paper and packaging, energy, chemicals, and others). This dynamic material flow analysis is carried out as a first step towards a better understanding of the dynamics of the wood carbon stocks and flows in the European Union, with the goal of linking it to Life Cycle Assessment tools and approaches to quantify substitution effects.