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Projections of emissions and removals from the LULUCF sector to 2050

Buys, Gwen; Malcolm, Heath; Moxley, Janet; Matthews, Robert; Henshall, Paul. 2014 Projections of emissions and removals from the LULUCF sector to 2050. Edinburgh, NERC/Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. (DECC Project code GA0510, CEH Project no. C04637)

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Abstract/Summary

• The UK is required to report projections for the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector for carbon budgets under the UK Climate Change Act, for the European Union Monitoring Mechanism, and for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. LULUCF activities can result in net emissions or removals of greenhouse gases, and changes in carbon stocks in the pools associated with LULUCF. This report provides projections at the UK and Devolved Administration (DA) level, with separate estimates for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which are summed to give the UK totals. • LULUCF is divided into six land use types: 5A Forest Land, 5B Cropland, 5C Grassland, 5D Wetlands, 5E Settlements, 5F Other Land. The code refers to the IPCC inventory category of LULUCF. There is a separate inventory sector dedicated to other emissions, mainly methane and nitrous oxide, from agricultural activities. Carbon stock changes from Harvested Wood Products are reported in an additional category, 5G Other. • Projections are made for net emissions and removals of greenhouse gases to 2050, arising from LULUCF activities reported in the latest (1990‐2012) greenhouse gas inventory, for the DAs and the UK, which excludes Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. • The LULUCF inventory now uses the CARBINE model for estimating forest carbon stocks, and models all UK forest instead of just the post‐1920 forest. As a consequence of the change in model, and corresponding changes in activity data, the projected sink for forestry is estimated to be much larger than in previous inventories. This has resulted in an increase in the total net sink for UK LULUCF being reported for all scenarios within the projections. • Four scenarios (Business‐As‐Usual (BAU), High emissions, Mid emissions and Low emissions) were constructed initially. The non‐BAU scenarios were later modified to include cropland-grassland rotations (churn ), to take into account land use changes in land that has not reached equilibrium from previous changes in land use. The scenarios were developed by a policy maker stakeholder group from trajectories in the 2050 DECC calculator report and take account of land use policies and aspirations (DECC, 2010). The BAU scenario assumes no new policy intervention. The main results are: 1. At a UK level, the LULUCF sector has been a net sink since 1998 and is predicted to remain so under all scenarios until at least 2050, although at a declining level from around 2030‐2037 onwards (depending on the scenario) mainly due to the number of trees being thinned or reaching maturity and harvested. 2. At a DA level, England will remain a net sink under all scenarios with the exception of the high emissions scenario with churn, which gives a net source from 2013 to 2016 and from 2045 onwards. 3. Scotland is a net sink under all scenarios 4. Wales is a small net sink under the Low scenarios, becomes a net source from 2043 onwards under the Mid scenario, and an increasing source from 2016 onwards under the High emissions scenario 5. Northern Ireland is either a small net sink or small net source depending on whether the churn factor is used. The LULUCF sector in the UK and in each of the DAs is dominated by CO2 emissions and removals, although N2O emissions also make a significant contribution. 6. The Forest Land, Cropland and Grassland land use categories determine the trend in the UK and each DA. The contribution from cropland and grassland to the overall trend is from changes in land use rather than from land management activities as only a few cropland and grassland management activities are currently included in the inventory. 7. The churn scenarios increase overall estimated net emissions for all scenarios for the UK and each DA, as net emissions from land use change to Cropland are maintained, rather than declining over time, as in the original scenarios.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
CEH Sections: Dise
Additional Pages: 33
Funders/Sponsors: Department of Energy and Climate Change
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Report and additional documents are freely available online via Official URL link
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Related URLs:
Date made live: 27 Aug 2014 10:42 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/508170

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