This report draws on a variety of sources to illuminate the greenhouse gas impacts of wood products and wood biomass fuels throughout their life-cycles. While detailed analyses are rare, the picture is complete enough to show the variability of the processing path followed by different types of trees in various parts of the country. Taking the entire life-cycle of these products into account, it becomes clear that an increased use of wood fuels and lumber will have very little net effect on climate change. To the contrary, the impact is as likely to be negative as positive.
The report also takes a closer look at the use of forest-carbon offsets in voluntary or regulatory programs. Because such offsets are expected to balance emissions from other sources, it is important that the additional carbon sequestration be real. This document outlines several criteria for carbon offset standards to account for the full effects of harvested wood carbon.