Assessments of the Forest Carbon Balance in the National Climate Policies of Russia and Canada
This paper examines the role of forests in national climate policies of two countries very rich in woods: Russia and Canada. Canada has made efforts to reduce direct CO2 emissions in the national economy, intensify forestry, and increase greenhouse gas sequestration by forests. Russia focuses on the verification and recalculation of the carbon sequestration capacity of its forests. Analysis of the Russian and Canadian stationary models used to assess the carbon sequestration capacity of forests (ROBUL and CBM-CFS, respectively) shows that both the Canadian model and the Russian one derived from it reflect the stationary dynamics of forest stands, which inevitably results in a downward CO2 absorption trend. Even if the forest inventory is updated on a regular basis, the predictive components of such models are unable to take into account the variability of forest ecosystems and their adaptation to climate change. Models that describe global carbon fluxes (e.g., ones using FLUXNET and remote sensing data) provide significantly higher net carbon sequestration values and indicate a nondecreasing net carbon accumulation trend in forests. It is concluded that stationary and remote sensing models should be used together to assess net carbon sequestration and formulate key principles of national climate policies in countries rich in forests.