The potential role of forest management in Swedish scenarios towards climate neutrality by mid century

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Swedish climate policy targets net zero greenhouse gases (GHG) by mid-century, with road transport independent of fossil fuels by 2030, requiring far-reaching changes in the way energy is used. Forest management is expected to support carbon sequestration and provide biomass for various uses, including energy. In this paper, we combine two energy scenarios with four forest scenarios and quantify GHG balances associated with energy-use for heat, electricity, and road transport, and with forest management and production, use, and end-of-life management of various forest products, including products for export. The aggregated GHG balances are evaluated in relation to the 2-degree target and an allocated Swedish CO2 budget. The production of biofuels in the agriculture sector is considered but not analyzed in detail. The results suggest that Swedish forestry can make an important contribution by supplying forest fuels and other products while maintaining or enhancing carbon storage in vegetation, soils, and forest products. The GHG neutrality goal is not met in any of the scenarios without factoring in carbon sequestration. Measures to enhance forest productivity can increase output of forest products (including biofuels for export) and also enhance carbon sequestration. The Swedish forest sector can let Sweden reach net negative emissions, and avoid “using up” its allocated CO2 budget, thereby increasing the associated emissions space for the rest of the world.


  • Olivia Cintas
  • Göran Berndes
  • Julia Hansson
  • Bishnu Chandra Poudel
  • Johan Bergh
  • Pål Börjesson
  • Gustaf Egnell
  • Tomas Lundmark
  • Annika Nordin
External organisations
  • Chalmers University of Technology
  • IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute
  • Linnaeus University
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use


  • Carbon budget, Climate change, Energy systems, Forest fuels, Forest supply, GHG balances
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-84
Number of pages12
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch