By Amzad Ali, Age 14
Finland is located in Northern Europe, and 76 percent of the country’s land is wooded. Finland’s forestry industry creates energy by burning wood, which is also known as biomass. Burning wood releases carbon dioxide, which is harmful to the environment, but it can be balanced with a healthy forestry industry that plants more trees than it cuts down. Finland’s also creates renewable energy by burning black liquor, which is a waste product from paper pulp production.
In an interview with Bioenergy Connection, Ahti Fagerblom of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation said, “[In] a typical year, our forests create a carbon sink that binds some 15-40 million tons of carbon dioxide. Even if our utilization of forest energy and wood were to grow significantly, the forests of Finland would remain substantial carbon sinks.”
Since Finland has long-established practices that have protected and helped their forest thrive, using wood sources of energy could be a good solution for them. However, it probably wouldn’t work in regions where people do not take good care of their forests.
Carbon sink: Natural systems such as oceans, plants, and soil that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.