Forests play a major role in mitigating climate change. Trees bind carbon through photosynthesis, and forests therefore act as carbon sinks.
The carbon stores of Metsähallitus’ forests have grown considerably in the last few decades. More carbon has become absorbed in trees in particular. The soil also acts primarily as a carbon sink. Discharges into the soil in drained organic peatlands have decreased. Trees have produced more forest litter, which has acted as a carbon sink.
Wood is an ecological, renewable and healthy material unlike fossil fuels. The ability of wood to bind carbon also survives in wooden products. The longer a wooden product remains in use, the longer it acts as a store of carbon molecules.
In mitigating climate change, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a key factor in addition to carbon sequestration. Metsähallitus aims to increase renewable energy production in state-owned areas, in order to promote the achievement of energy and climate objectives outlined in the Government Programme of Prime Minister Sipilä’s Cabinet and by the EU.
Forest residues generated during the course of felling in Metsähallitus’ multiple-use forests, and timber of no economic value, are used as sources of renewable energy. Metsähallitus is actively involved in the development of wind power projects. High capacity giant trucks can be used in timber transports to facilitate higher loads in one go, thus reducing the number of driving rounds and fuel consumption. One of the aims, when designing Metsähallitus' new head office, was to promote the use of recyclable materials. The first steps towards substituting geothermal energy for oil heating were taken in the Koli National Park.
Photo: Jari Salonen