• Kyodo News


The government should promote the use of wooden biomass fuel to help achieve the greenhouse gas reduction goal under the Kyoto Protocol, a forestry industry white paper recommends.

Issued Tuesday, the white paper outlines the government’s fiscal 2009 forestry policy and notes that transforming felled trees from forest thinning into fuel would benefit lumber producers financially as well as reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Trees cut down for thinning are usually left unused.

Burning trees that have absorbed carbon dioxide emits fewer greenhouse gases compared with fossil fuels, including coal and heavy oil.

The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, requires Japan to cut greenhouse gas emissions an average of 6 percent from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012, and the government aims to achieve 3.8 percent of the target through trees absorbing carbon dioxide.

Using lumber without waste will be a “key in realizing a low-carbon society,” the report says.

Under a trial emissions trading system launched in Japan last year, credits can be earned through the use of wooden biomass fuel.

As examples of emissions reduction projects, the paper refers to the use of wooden biomass fuel as a heat source for hot springs in Fukuoka Prefecture, and for melting snow and heating municipal buildings in Oguni, Yamagata Prefecture.

Meanwhile, the document notes an increasing trend among lumber producers to use domestically produced materials due to sharp rises in tariffs levied on Russian logs.

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