So many ways – big and small – to capture carbon

Weatherall, Andrew ORCID logo ORCID: (2019) So many ways – big and small – to capture carbon. The Guardian . 4th April 2019.

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The natural climate solutions approach proposed by scientists and activists including Michael Mann, Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot* is a vitally important component of our global approaches to tackling climate and ecological breakdown. But carbon sequestration by trees (the removal of carbon dioxide from the air via net photosynthesis), and carbon storage in forest ecosystems (especially soils) are only two of the methods by which sustainable forest management can combat climate change. The third method is the carbon substitution effect achieved by replacing fossil fuels, either directly as bioenergy, or indirectly through use of wood (for example as structural timber) instead of higher carbon footprint materials, such as concrete and steel. In the UK, with only 13% forest cover, we are less than 20% self-sufficient in wood products and thus need to increase all three methods of using forestry to mitigate climate change. Otherwise we are dependent on importing harvested wood from other parts of the world rather than helping restore their forests. Climate-smart forestry is an approach that considers how natural woodlands and commercial forest plantations need to adapt to climate change while maintaining, and increasing, their climate mitigation through individual trees, in the forest and by products from the forest. This needs to be achieved without reducing the other benefits to society that the forest habitat provides, such as flood mitigation, access for recreation and associated health and wellbeing.

* Monbiot, George. The natural world can help save us from climate catastrophe. The Guardian 3rd April 2019
Thunberg, Greta et al. A natural solution to the climate disaster. The Guardian 3rd April 2019

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: The Guardian
Publisher: Guardian News & Media Limited
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Forestry and Conservation
Additional Information: Dr Andrew Weatherall, National School of Forestry, University of Cumbria, UK, had this letter published in The Guardian, discussing how sustainable forest management can help tackle climate change, in response to two earlier pieces on natural solutions.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2019 14:37
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 08:46


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