Just How Good is Wood?

19 September 2023

Just How Good is Wood? ~ Carbon accountants have some tough questions, and some surprising answers.

By Mark Harris

If there’s one mantra that has anchored the environmental movement since its inception, it’s that trees are good. Good for the environment. Good for biodiversity. And definitely good for the climate. Despite decades of high-tech effort (and a $100 million XPrize funded by Elon Musk), trees remain one of the most reliable ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—to the tune of about 8 gigatons a year according to a 2023 study. So what’s with this paper just published in Nature by environmental non-profit World Resources Institute (WRI), stating that wood consumption accounts for about 10% of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions? That’s more than all the planet’s passenger cars combined.

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