AWC statement on recent Biogenic Carbon Review

WASHINGTON – American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski has issued the following statement regarding the “Forest Carbon Accounting Considerations in U.S. Bioenergy Policy” article recently published in the Journal of Forestry. The article is a review of current literature regarding the carbon emissions of biomass. It concludes that considering the full spectrum of forest-based activity, including using a time horizon consistent with that used for other greenhouse gases (GHGs), the use of biomass for energy would result in low-to-zero warming impacts.

“This article is once again spotlighting the need for EPA’s forthcoming Accounting Framework to recognize the carbon-neutral use of biomass. As this report reinforces, the wood products industry is simply utilizing the energy value of the CO2 in biomass before it is lost to the atmosphere through other means.

“The framework is needed now more than ever to differentiate biomass emissions as unique and carbon neutral, not only for EPA’s air regulations but for many other analyses, such as life cycle assessment and green building codes and rating systems. If EPA’s accounting framework doesn’t recognize our biomass emissions as carbon neutral, the United States could become the only country in the world that does not recognize the greenhouse gas reduction benefits of using wood products manufacturing residuals for energy.”

The American Wood Council (AWC) is the voice of North American wood products manufacturing, representing over 75 percent of an industry that provides more than 360,000 men and women with family-wage jobs. AWC members make products that are essential to everyday life from a renewable resource that absorbs and sequesters carbon. Staff experts develop state-of-the-art engineering data, technology, and standards for wood products to assure their safe and efficient design, as well as provide information on wood design, green building, and environmental regulations. AWC also advocates for balanced government policies that affect wood products.

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