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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Climate change mitigation through increased wood use in the European construction sector-towards an integrated modelling framework

Eriksson Ljusk, Ola; Gustavsson, L.; Hänninen, R.; Kallio, M.; Lyhykäinen, H.; Pingoud, K.; Pohjola, J.; Sathre, R.; Solberg, B.; Svanaes, J.; Valsta, Lauri


Using wood as a building material affects the carbon balance through several mechanisms. This paper describes a modelling approach that integrates a wood product substitution model, a global partial equilibrium model, a regional forest model and a stand-level model. Three different scenarios were compared with a business-as-usual scenario over a 23-year period (2008-2030). Two scenarios assumed an additional one million apartment flats per year will be built of wood instead of non-wood materials by 2030. These scenarios had little effect on markets and forest management and reduced annual carbon emissions by 0.2-0.5% of the total 1990 European GHG emissions. However, the scenarios are associated with high specific CO(2) emission reductions per unit of wood used. The third scenario, an extreme assumption that all European countries will consume 1-m(3) sawn wood per capita by 2030, had large effects on carbon emission, volumes and trade flows. The price changes of this scenario, however, also affected forest management in ways that greatly deviated from the partial equilibrium model projections. Our results suggest that increased wood construction will have a minor impact on forest management and forest carbon stocks. To analyse larger perturbations on the demand side, a market equilibrium model seems crucial. However, for that analytical system to work properly, the market and forest regional models must be better synchronized than here, in particular regarding assumptions on timber supply behaviour. Also, bioenergy as a commodity in market and forest models needs to be considered to study new market developments; those modules are currently missing.


Climate change mitigation; Integrated modelling; Wood substitution; Forest economics; Forest management; Wood construction

Published in

European Journal of Forest Research
2012, volume: 131, number: 1, pages: 131-144
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Eriksson Ljusk, Ola (Eriksson, Ola)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management
Gustavsson, L.
Hänninen, R.
Kallio, M.
Lyhykäinen, H.
Pingoud, K.
Pohjola, J.
Sathre, R.
Solberg, B.
Svanaes, J.
Valsta, Lauri
University of Helsinki

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action

UKÄ Subject classification

Economics and Business
Renewable Bioenergy Research
Forest Science
Social Sciences

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