There is a continuing debate over the role that woody bioenergy plays in climate mitigation.
This brand new paper in Science clarifies this controversy and illustrates the impacts of woody biomass demand on forest harvests, prices, timber management investments and intensity, forest area, and the resulting carbon balance under different climate mitigation policies.
Increased bioenergy demand increases forest carbon stocks thanks to afforestation activities and more intensive management relative to a no-bioenergy case. Some natural forests, however, are converted to more intensive management, with potential biodiversity losses. Incentivizing both wood-based bioenergy and forest sequestration could increase carbon sequestration and conserve natural forests simultaneously.
This paper concludes that the expanded use of wood for bioenergy will result in net carbon benefits, but an efficient policy also needs to regulate forest carbon sequestration.
Read the article here: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/13/eaay6792