Understanding the policies and carbon accounting frameworks which are defining the potential role of biobased products to meet climate change targets

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Climate change has become an important challenge at International, European, National and Regional level. Mitigation of climate change by preventing and reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere is needed to make the impacts of climate change less severe. To ensure this, different mitigation frameworks have been created. These frameworks set specific GHG reduction goals and provide a more structured approach to solve this problem. This report aims to provide information to the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) on and how some climate change mitigation frameworks are including the increase forestry and agricultural biomass supply to produce chemicals and materials that can contribute to the reduction of GHG emission. This desktop research follows a ‘systems perspective approach’ to study the role of biobased materials’ 1 in the reduction of GHG emission. This approach allows the understanding of interactions between biobased products, national inventories and global agreements. Understanding these links and having knowledge on which GHG gases accounting methods are being applied is necessary for the identification of possible drawbacks and for the development of future policy guidelines. After this review, we conclude that it is important to be familiar with and recognize the value in current existing accounting methodologies. However, existing frameworks are still lacking important features which could enable more robust account methodologies for carbon sequestration and storage in biobased materials. At this moment in time, the European Commission is working on proposals like the ‘Carbon Farming framework’ and ‘carbon removals certification framework’ (December 2022) and introducing a ‘carbon storage products pool’, these proposals could play and important role on establishing clear accounting rules that connect the biomass production to biobased materials and its contribution to support National Policies towards GHG reduction targets. This will require collaboration and information exchange between European countries. Therefore, is important to follow closely the evolution of these frameworks and their proposed accounting rules. This document is organized in the following way: • Section 2, introduces terminologies, frameworks and methods for GHG accounting at different levels International, Europe and Netherlands. • Section 3 is dedicated to understanding how biobased products for could contribute to the Climate targets by substituting other GHG intensive materials, extending the life span of the product or by cascading use of the biomass. • Section 4 shows two examples on how the GHG balances of two different linear biobased supply chains are estimated at the product accounting level and how this relates to the national level inventory reporting and the global agreements. • Section 5 presents our conclusions and recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Food & Biobased Research
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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NameReport / Wageningen Food & Biobased Research


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