UKTC Archive

RE: Carbon Sinks

Subject: RE: Carbon Sinks
From: Baker, Rupert
Date: Nov 27 2000 10:00:39
Just goes to show, UKTC is ahead of the news again - John Prescott failing
to persuade our colleaugues across the pond to reduce their energy
consumption, and various experts arguing how big a plant has to be before it
is counted as part of a carbon sink.

The problem with the whole concept, leaving aside its use as a convenient
get-out clause for energy junkies, is you have to ask whether such planting
would actually increase the area under productive woodland cover, with the
wood then being used for a structural end use, rather than producing
cardboard or bog paper.  Given the likely low quality of most of the timber
that will come out of new uk woodlands, planted at 3m centres, no formative
pruning, and on market for thinnings at the moment, its likely that much of
the new UK woodland will end up as pulp - which will release carbon back
into the atmosphere pretty promptly.  Better to look at them as CO2 neutral
rather than Carbon sinks.

A worse concept is that of trading CO2 emissions - which gives a form of
economic colonialism, and is likely to result in increased rates of cut of
old-growth rainforest, to replace with Eucalyptus and Pinus canariensis etc
plantations.  If countries are going to work with carbon sinks, it ought to
be within their boundaries, on land they can show to be a real conversion to
woodland from agriculture or brown-field.

Rupert

        -----Original Message-----
        From:   JAdkins@xxxxxxxxxxx.gov.uk [SMTP:JAdkins@xxxxxxxxxxx.gov.uk]
        Sent:   27 November 2000 08:57
        To:     UK Tree Care
        Subject:        RE: Carbon Sinks

        Not quite sure the size it has to be before it can be called a
'Carbon
        Sink', but I remember from college that a new woodland the size of
the
        Indian Sub-continent would be needed to have much effect!

        Jim

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Baker, Rupert [SMTP:Rupert.Baker@xxxxxxx.gov.uk]
        > Sent: Thursday, November 23, 2000 4:00 PM
        > To:   UK Tree Care
        > Subject:      RE: Carbon Sinks
        > 
        > For an authoritative definition, talk to one of the American
power
        > Utilities - some of them own UK electric companies; they have been
playing
        > with these concepts for some time
        > Best Wishes
        > Rupert
        > 
        >       -----Original Message-----
        >       From:   Christopher Wilken [SMTP:CWilken@xxxxxxxxx.gov.uk]
        >       Sent:   23 November 2000 14:47
        >       To:     UK Tree Care
        >       Subject:        Carbon Sinks
        > 
        > 
        >        'Carbon Sink'. How big or small does a plantation have to
be , in
        > order for it to be called a 'Carbon Sink'?
        >       
        > 
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