Forestry Statistics 2007 - Environment

Climate change and carbon

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Under the Kyoto protocol, additional woodland planted since 1990 contributes to the UK's carbon dioxide emissions target by removing carbon from the air. In climate change reporting, this is described as removals to forestland, also called the forest sink. It measures the net annual accumulation of carbon in forests by woody biomass, soils, litter and changes in the quantity of forest products from timber grown in the UK. The figures for the forest sink due to expansion since 1990 are included in the total forest sink.

Table 4.3 Net carbon dioxide removals attributed to UK forestry

Year

Removals to forestland

including removals due to
land afforested since 19901

million tonnes of carbon per year

1990

3.3

0.0

1995

3.8

0.1

2000

3.8

0.4

2005

4.4

0.6

2010

2.9

0.8

2015

2.1

1.0

2020

1.4

1.2

Not National Statistics.

Source: Climate Change: The UK Programme 2006 (Defra, 2006)

Notes:

1. Entries for woodlands planted from 1990 exclude increasing pool of carbon in timber products

Figure 4.1 Net annual change in mass of carbon in United Kingdom woodlands

Not National Statistics.

Source: UK Emissions by Sources and Removals by Sinks due to Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry Activities, CEH Report C01504 (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, 2002)


Notes:
1. Carbon in forest biomass only; excludes carbon in litter, soils and forest products.


2. Future predictions of carbon uptake assume that commercial conifer plantations will be replanted when felled, and that planting of new woodland will continue at the same rate as in 2000.


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