Use of woody biomass from sustainably managed sources to produce energy is considered an important strategy to mitigate climate change because the resource is renewable (biomass regrowth on land recaptures emitted carbon dioxide (CO2) due to biomass burning) and can substitute for fossil-fuel-based energy such as coal and natural gas. However, consensus on the degree of contribution of woody biomass to climate change mitigation is lacking. The reason for this lack of consensus is that different analysts include different carbon (C) stock changes (e.g. C stock change where feedstock is taken, C stock change due to indirect land use and management changes), different time frames (e.g. 10-20years versus 100 years), different greenhouse gas (GHG) metrics (e.g. GHG flux versus net cumulative radiative forcing), different types and sources of wood feedstock (e.g. feedstock sourced from existing forest versus feedstock sourced from new plantations versus use of logging residue), different baselines (e.g. reference point baseline versus anticipated future baseline), and types of life cycle analysis (LCA) framework (e.g. attributional LCA versus consequential LCA) that influence the estimated GHG impacts of wood energy.
Nepal, Prakash; Skog, Kenneth E. 2014. Chapter 8: Estimating net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from wood energy use; Issues and the current state of knowledge. In: Wood energy in developed economies Resource management, economics and policy edited by Francisco X. Aguilar, 2014; pp. 223-252.