ABSTRACT

This chapter examines the potential for the forest sector in an example country as it decarbonizes. China is more than an important example because its trajectory of emission reduction and removal is crucial for the entire global impact on climate change. An assessment of the role of China’s forest sector in achieving its goals of carbon emission reduction and neutralization requires projections of carbon sequestered in forest ecosystems (FESs) and stored in harvested wood products (HWPs), and these projections must be placed in a coherent framework of carbon accounting. Building on these steps, the chapter shows that during 2006–2020, China’s forest sector’s biomass and soil carbon sequestration reached 2.589 petagrams (Pg) and 1.275Pg. Its storage in HWPs was 0.491Pg. These outcomes would have offset 11.76% of the country’s cumulative carbon emissions. For the period from 2006 (the baseline) to 2060 by which time it will achieve net zero, FES biomass and soil carbon sequestration project to 7.574Pg and 3.730Pg, and carbon storage in HWPs projects to 1.709Pg—even under conservative assumptions. These estimates would lead to an overall ratio of 14.72% of carbon emissions offset by the forest sector.