Can forestry remove CO2 from the atmosphere at multi-GTpa scale? This 19-page note about Finland forests CO2 removals is a case study , where detailed data goes back a century. 70% of the country is forest. It is managed sustainably, equitably, economically. And forests have sequestered 2GT of CO2 in the past century, offsetting two-thirds of the country’s fossil emissions.
Nature-based carbon removals underpin 25% of all the decarbonization in our roadmap to net zero. The key debate is whether they can scale to this level, measurably, reliably, as covered on pages 2-3.
Finland makes for an excellent case study. An overview of the country, its forests and its forest-centric culture is set out on pages 4-6.
The structure of Finnish forestry is broken down on pages 7-10. Our data are aggregated from Natural Resources Institute Finland, and offer the best, most comprehensive breakdown we have ever encountered on the costs of forest management (across 20 line items), harvesting practices and realized pricing for different categories of wood.
Carbon credentials are calculated on pages 11-12, explaining the maths above: 2GT of CO2 sequestered in the past century, versus 3GT of nationwide fossil emissions.
Productivity data are also excellent, improving at 1% per year over the past century, with biomass yields per hectare almost doubling since the first half of the 20th century. This is mainly through improved forestry practices (pages 13-16).
Conclusions of Finland forests CO2 removals are spelled out on pages 17-19. 110 countries, with 5bn acres of land, have a 1-5x better environment for growing forests than icy Finland. For Brazil, for example, to get repeatedly ‘trounced’ by Finland should be as surprising in forestry as it would be in soccer.
To read more of our outlook on Finland’s forestry product business that aspires to be a leading provider of renewable products, please see our article here.