Timber – a renewable resource
If we were to fertilize three percent of our cultivated forest every year, Sweden would immediately become carbon neutral. (Provided that all other emissions remain unchanged and that the growth increase is used to increase timber stock in the forest.)
If Sweden restored 350,000 hectares of disused pastures and arable land to what they once were – forests – this build-up of new forests would store large amounts of CO2. During the conversion phase, this would compensate for the corresponding amount of net carbon emissions from other sectors of society for 10 years. Thereafter, the new forest would start to yield raw materials that would reduce dependence on fossil fuels and contribute to an increase in the construction of wooden buildings.
Over the long term, we would also have greater resources in the form of wood. Wood is a renewable resource that supplies society and the emerging bioeconomy. Wood can be used as a replacement for a wide range of other materials and products based on fossil products, such as plastic, concrete and various building materials. The increased importance of wood raw materials can be seen as a bonus, an added benefit, and one that will last as long as the forest is cultivated.
In other words, the growing forest is a powerful force in the fight against atmospheric GHG.