Climate Focus   |   Mar 01, 2015
Type: Research Report
Topic: Environment/Climate, Fuels
Country: Global
Across large parts of the world, woodfuel remains a primary source of energy, relied on by more than a third of the global population for their cooking and heating needs. Collectively, households in the developing world consume approximately 1.5 billion tonnes of woodfuel annually, leading to emissions of roughly 0.8 GtCO2 per year, equivalent to 2% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While this may seem like a small percentage of total emissions, woodfuel emissions are equivalent to around a quarter of gross emissions from deforestation in the tropics. Where harvested unsustainably, woodfuel consumption can lead to localized degradation of forests – and with rising populations and increased urbanization, these localized pressures are likely to increase. To date, however, mitigating forest degradation caused by woodfuel consumption has not been a main feature of schemes designed to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Using a combination of demand- and supply-side interventions, Climate Focus’ research indicates that woodfuel emissions could be reduced by around 450 MtCO2 per year in the best-case scenario. This scenario is in line with the target of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves for 100 million households to adopt efficient cookstoves by 2020. The remaining 350 MtCO2 per year of woodfuel emissions could be balanced by carbon sequestered in new plantation forests. While demand- and supply-side interventions are equivalent in terms of their impact on forest loss and climate change, however, only demand side interventions are suited to achieving positive health outcomes (an important co-benefit in clean cookstove projects).