Wood isn’t the climate-friendly material you think it is
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🗞️ Driving the news: A study published in Nature this week shows that wood is not as climate-friendly as often believed. It contributes to roughly one-tenth of the world's annual greenhouse gas emissions, more than emissions from passenger cars.
🔭 The context: Wood has long been touted as carbon-neutral by various industries and some environmentalists, but this study challenges that perception
• It demonstrates that the greenhouse gases released by burning wood and the decomposition of wood waste significantly contribute to global emissions.
🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The study highlights that carbon emissions from wood usage — from burning to decomposition of waste in forests and landfills — are a considerable contributor to global warming
• The demand for wood is projected to rise by 54% between 2010 and 2050, which could further exacerbate the problem.
⏭️ What's next: The research suggests the need for governments to limit logging and promote more efficient uses of wood, like reducing its burning. If not, these emissions are predicted to increase, contributing to a hotter, smokier planet.
💬 One quote: "The bottom line is you got a lot of emissions coming from wood harvest, and we don’t pay attention to that." (Tim Searchinger, World Resources Institute)
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