Harvested wood products (HWPs) mitigate climate change through carbon storage, material substitution, and energy substitution. We construct a model to assess the overall climate change mitigation effect (comprising the carbon storage, material substitution, and energy substitution effects) resulting from HWPs in regions of Japan. The model allows for projections to 2050 based on future scenarios relating to the domestic forestry industry, HWP use, and energy use.
Using the production approach, a nationwide maximum figure of 2.9 MtC year-1 for the HWP carbon storage effect is determined for 2030. The maximum nationwide material substitution effect is 2.9 MtC year-1 in 2050. For the energy substitution effect, a nationwide maximum projection of 4.3 MtC year-1 in 2050 is established, with at least 50 % of this figure derived from east and west Japan, where a large volume of logging residue is generated. For the overall climate change mitigation effect, a nationwide maximum projection of 8.4 MtC year-1 in 2050 is established, equivalent to 2.4 % of Japan’s current carbon dioxide emissions.
When domestic roundwood production and HWP usage is promoted, an overall climate change mitigation effect is consistently expected to be attributable to HWPs until 2050. A significant factor in obtaining the material substitution effect will be substituting non-wooden buildings with wooden ones. The policy of promoting the use of logging residue will have a significant impact on the energy substitution effect. An important future study is an integrated investigation of the climate change mitigation effect for both HWPs and forests.