AWC Statement on Recent Biogenic Carbon Review

Sep 10, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski has issued the following statement regarding the "Forest Carbon Accounting Considerations in US 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."