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Background

Klimatskoga has developed the concept and methodology for climate forests in collaboration with Lars Christersson, professor emeritus in intensive forestry at SLU (Swedish University of Agriculture) and also former docent in plant physiology at Lund University. Christersson and his colleagues have been researching deciduous tree cultivation and energy forests for over 40 years. Lars Christersson has been a pioneer when it comes to fast-growing deciduous forests and during his work at SLU has been involved in developing optimized cultivation methodology and refined fast-growing and resistant varieties that Klimatskoga uses in its plantations.

During his career, Lars Christersson has highlighted and clarified the to say the least incredible potential for the climate that fast-growing deciduous trees have in terms of carbon dioxide uptake and biomass growth. His research and commitment made us at Klimatskoga understand that it is possible to create an effective climate benefit in Sweden and that we have the potential to neutralize all the carbon dioxide we add to the atmosphere here and now.

Lars Christersson, Professor Emeritus

Some worthwhile interviews / articles
- UNT: New deciduous trees a revolution for climate and environment Link
- SVD: Great climate potential in fast-growing trees Link Link
- SVT: The tree researcher believes that energy forests can save the climate Link
- Research and Progress: The fuel of the future grows here Link
- New light in the carbon dioxide darkness Link

Fast growing deciduous tree

Research at the Swedish University of Agriculture shows that fast-growing deciduous trees are the most cost-effective way to quickly capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. With optimized cultivation methods and refined varieties of fast-growing willow trees, biomass growth and carbon dioxide absorption can be optimized while maximizing the climate benefit for Swedish conditions.

Selected references Fast-growing deciduous trees
1.
RYTTER, Lars and LUTTER, Reimo. Early growth of different tree species on agricultural land along a latitudinal transect in Sweden. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research. On-line. 14 May 2020. Vol. 93, no. 3, pp. 376–388. [Accessed 1 September 2022]. DOI 10.1093/forestry/cpz064.
Abstract Fast-growing tree species will be an important tool in the future production of renewables and in substituting non-renewable fossil energy sources. Sweden, like other countries around the Baltic Sea, has large areas of abandoned farmland usable for biomass production...
1.
CHRISTERSSON, Lars. Complementary forestry - a step in climate change. . 2 ed. Förlaget Boken, 2022. ISBN 978-91-984259-7-0.
This book is written to inform about possibilities for Swedish forestry and Swedish agriculture to influence the ongoing climate changes in a positive direction. In addition, the measures that must be put in place to prevent lakes and waterways from growing again and the Baltic Sea from continuing to be polluted are described. The big advantage here is that these two problem areas can be attacked and partially solved at the same time with one and the same action
1.
FOREST CURRENT. This is how energy foresters can strike back. Forest news. On-line. [Accessed 18 October 2021]. Available from: https://www.skogsaktuellt.se/artikel/58809/s-kan-energiskogsodlarna-sl-tillbaka.html
In order to meet the future requirements for bio-based fuels for both heating and vehicle operation, more and more raw materials are required. Instead of importing large amounts of materials that today bring with them unwanted pollutants, the energy forest can account for a domestic production of raw materials.
1.
HJULFORS, Lena NIEMI and HJERPE, Karin. OVR303: More than just energy environmental and societal benefits of energy crops On-line. The Swedish Board of Agriculture, [no date]. [Accessed 12 September 2021]. Available from: https://webbutiken.jordbruksverket.se/sv/artiklar/ovr303.html
Energy crops such as willow, poplar, hybrid aspen and reed cane are not only useful when they are harvested and used for the production of heat or electricity. Growing crops that, after planting, are then harvested repeatedly for several years before cultivation is interrupted can have many positive effects on both soil and biodiversity. By placing, designing and managing crops of perennial energy crops in the right way, the crops can contribute with a number of different environmental services. The socio-economic calculation can thus be even better by actively planning to utilize more of the potential environmental benefits of energy cultivation.
1.
Scotch forestry with Salix yielded the most on abandoned arable land - during the first years. On-line. [Accessed 30 April 2021]. Available from: https://www.skogforsk.se:443/kunskap/kunskapsbanken/2020/beskogning-akermark/
Scotch forestry with Salix gave the most biomass in the first years in a tree species experiment on abandoned agricultural land. For all six tree species, growth increased sharply during the latter part of the trial period.
1.
Fast-growing tree species on arable land - soil chemistry and determination of carbon and nitrogen. On-line. [Accessed 30 April 2021]. Available from: https://www.skogforsk.se:443/kunskap/kunskapsbanken/2016/snabbvaxande-tradslag-pa-akermark--markkemi-och-fastlaggning-av-kol-och-kvave/
What production capacity do different fast-growing tree species have when replanting forest on arable land? How does it affect the soil? The report reports stage 2 of the project, five years after planting.
1.
CHRISTERSSON, Lars and THE INSTITUTE FOR THE CULTIVATION OF TRIVIAL LEAVE TREES. Paper poplars and energy arrows: theoretical aspects and practical applications. . Tranås; Uppsala: Budgetboken; Institute for the cultivation of trivial deciduous trees (Trilöv), 2013. ISBN 978-91-980827-1-5.

Climate benefit

The climate forest is planted on land that has not been forested, which creates new areas for carbon dioxide absorption (additionality). Through Klimatskogen's rapid growth, carbon dioxide is absorbed very efficiently from the air. A Climate Forest, for example, is estimated to absorb 5 to 10 times as much carbon dioxide as spruce and pine during the first 10 years. The government investigation 'The road to a climate-positive future' recommends at least 40 ha of planting fast-growing deciduous trees on Swedish land as part of making Sweden carbon dioxide neutral.

Selected references Klimatnytta
1.
KING. ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING SCIENCES (IVA). This is how Swedish agriculture meets the climate goals An interim report from the IVA project Ways for climate. On-line. [Accessed 3 September 2022]. Available from: http://www.iva.se/publicerat/ny-rapport-fran-projektet-vagval-for-klimatet-sa-klarar-det-svenska-energisystemet-klimatmalen/
Sweden's energy system has good conditions for becoming climate neutral.
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HERETICS, Thomas. Carbon storage in agricultural land – for fertility and the climate. . P. 38.
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RYTTER, Lars, RYTTER, Rose-Marie and HÖGBOM, Lars. Energy forest on agricultural land provides early climate benefits. On-line. 8 December 2015. [Accessed 15 August 2020]. Available from: https://www.skogforsk.se:443/kunskap/kunskapsbanken/2015/energiskog-pa-jordbruksmark-ger-tidig-klimatnytta/
A series of experiments with fast-growing tree species on former agricultural land shows that energy forestry constitutes a carbon sink already after five years.
1.
NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR FAST-GROWING DECIDOUS TREES IN SWEDEN (NPC SWEDEN). National Commission on Fast Growing Hardwoods. SLU.SE. On-line. [Accessed 3 September 2022]. Available from: https://www.slu.se/centrumbildningar-och-projekt/kommisionen-for-snabbvaxande-lovtrad/
The National Commission for Fast-Growing Hardwoods (NPC Sweden) is affiliated to the International Commission for Poplars and Other Fast-Growing Tree Species (IPC). Its main task is to promote the social benefit of fast-growing trees such as poplar, aspen, birch and alder.
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THE GOVERNMENTS OFFICIAL INVESTIGATIONS. The path to a climate-positive future. SOU 2020: Report from the Climate policy road selection investigation (M 2018:07). . Norstedts Juridik AB, 2020. ISBN 978-91-38-25019-8.
1.
CHRISTERSSON, Lars and THE INSTITUTE FOR THE CULTIVATION OF TRIVIAL LEAVE TREES. Paper poplars and energy arrows: theoretical aspects and practical applications. . Tranås; Uppsala: Budgetboken; Institute for the cultivation of trivial deciduous trees (Trilöv), 2013. ISBN 978-91-980827-1-5.

Biodiversity

Climate forests, according to research from the Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU), promote biological diversity in agricultural areas. In a cultivation of, for example, salix, more species of insects, plants and birds thrive than in surrounding fields and in spruce and pine forests.

Salix (willow) is an important host for nearly 640 species, of which roughly 80 are red-listed, and a further roughly 670 species use that biotope. Source: The importance of host plants

Selected references Biological diversity
1.
WEIH, Martin. Energy forestry on arable land - opportunities for biological diversity and cultural environment in a landscape perspective On-line. Report. Uppsala : Swedish University of Agriculture, 2006. [Accessed 12 June 2022]. Available from: https://pub.epsilon.slu.se/3075/
The report presents the results from an evaluation, in which the objectives were to (i) assess the possibilities of short rotation willow plantations to improve environmental qualities and the design of agricultural landscape, and (ii) evaluate how plantations of Salix should be localized and managed in order to support some of the Swedish environmental objectives. In addition, potential conflicts of interest should be identified, eg, between economic constraints requiring maximized biomass yields on the one hand and environmental concerns on the other hand.
Issue: - Num Pages: 36
1.
HJULFORS, Lena NIEMI and HJERPE, Karin. OVR303: More than just energy environmental and societal benefits of energy crops On-line. The Swedish Board of Agriculture, [no date]. [Accessed 12 September 2021]. Available from: https://webbutiken.jordbruksverket.se/sv/artiklar/ovr303.html
Energy crops such as willow, poplar, hybrid aspen and reed cane are not only useful when they are harvested and used for the production of heat or electricity. Growing crops that, after planting, are then harvested repeatedly for several years before cultivation is interrupted can have many positive effects on both soil and biodiversity. By placing, designing and managing crops of perennial energy crops in the right way, the crops can contribute with a number of different environmental services. The socio-economic calculation can thus be even better by actively planning to utilize more of the potential environmental benefits of energy cultivation.

Carbon storage

Carbon storage is about capturing carbon dioxide from the air and storing it in the ground. The climate forest effectively absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it grows. Carbon is stored in tree trunks, branches, needles, leaves and roots, but also in dead organic matter and in the soil. Because the carbon is bound in the Climate Forest, it does not contribute to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere.
Klimatskoga offers long-term storage of captured carbon dioxide with biochar. When the biomass from Klimatskogen is converted into biochar via pyrolysis (PyCCS - Pyrogenic carbon capture and storage), a large part of the carbon that the trees have accumulated can be bound into a significantly more durable product - biochar. Biochar is very stable and is estimated to have a half-life of hundreds of years up to 5000 years. Biocoal is therefore to be considered a carbon sink from a climate point of view and the IPCC classifies it as Negative Emission Technology.

Selected references Carbon storage
1.
KING. ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING SCIENCES (IVA). This is how Swedish agriculture meets the climate goals An interim report from the IVA project Ways for climate. On-line. [Accessed 3 September 2022]. Available from: http://www.iva.se/publicerat/ny-rapport-fran-projektet-vagval-for-klimatet-sa-klarar-det-svenska-energisystemet-klimatmalen/
Sweden's energy system has good conditions for becoming climate neutral.
1.
HÖGLUND, Robert. Removing Carbon Now: How can companies and individuals fund negative emissions technologies in a safe and effective way to help solve the climate crisis? . August 2020. P. 21.
Carbon removals are an important part of the solution to the climate crisis, hundreds of gigatons of CO2 will likely need to be removed from the atmosphere this century with the help of a wide range of negative emission technologies. This paper sets out to answer which negative emissions techniques are available on the market today and how they potentially could be used by companies or individuals who wish to help solve the climate crisis by removing carbon in an effective way without creating risks for people or the environment .
1.
RYTTER, Lars, RYTTER, Rose-Marie and HÖGBOM, Lars. Energy forest on agricultural land provides early climate benefits. On-line. 8 December 2015. [Accessed 15 August 2020]. Available from: https://www.skogforsk.se:443/kunskap/kunskapsbanken/2015/energiskog-pa-jordbruksmark-ger-tidig-klimatnytta/
A series of experiments with fast-growing tree species on former agricultural land shows that energy forestry constitutes a carbon sink already after five years.
1.
SCHMIDT, Hans-Peter, ANCA-COUCE, Andrés, HAGEMANN, Nikolas, WERNER, Constanze, GERTEN, Dieter, LUCHT, Wolfgang and KAMMANN, Claudia. Pyrogenic carbon capture and storage. GCB Bioenergy. On-line. 2019. Vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 573–591. [Accessed 21 August 2022]. DOI 10.1111/gcbb.12553.
The growth of biomass is considered the most efficient method currently available to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, biomass carbon is easily degraded by microorganisms releasing it in the form of greenhouse gases back to the atmosphere. If biomass is pyrolyzed, the organic carbon is converted into solid (biochar), liquid (bio-oil), and gaseous (permanent pyrogas) carbonaceous products. During the last decade, biochar has been discussed as a promising option to improve soil fertility and sequester carbon, although the carbon efficiency of the thermal conversion of biomass into biochar is in the range of 30%–50% only. So far, the liquid and gaseous pyrolysis products were mainly considered for combustion, although they can equally be processed into recalcitrant forms suitable for carbon sequestration. In this review, we show that pyrolytic carbon capture and storage (PyCCS) can aspire for carbon sequestration efficiencies of >70%, which is shown to be an important threshold to allow PyCCS to become a relevant negative emission technology. Prolonged residence times of pyrogenic carbon can be generated (a) within the terrestrial biosphere including the agricultural use of biochar; (b) within advanced bio-based materials as long as they are not oxidized (biochar, bio-oil); and (c) within suitable geological deposits (bio-oil and CO2 from permanent pyrogas oxidation). While pathway (c) would need major carbon taxes or similar governmental incentives to become a realistic option, pathways (a) and (b) create added economic value and could at least partially be implemented without other financial incentives. Pyrolysis technology is already well established, biochar sequestration and bio-oil sequestration in soils, respectively biomaterials, do not present ecological hazards, and global scale-up appears feasible within a time frame of 10–30 years. Thus, PyCCS could evolve into a decisive tool for global carbon governance, serving climate change mitigation and the sustainable development goals simultaneously.
1.
RYTTER, Rose-Marie, RYTTER, Lars and HÖGBOM, Lars. Carbon sequestration in willow (Salix spp.) Plantations on former arable land estimated by repeated field sampling and C budget calculation. Biomass and Bioenergy. On-line. 2015. Vol. 83, pp. 483–492. [Accessed 7 July 2020]. DOI 10.1016 / j.biombioe.2015.10.009.
Short rotation coppice (SRC) plantations are of interest as producers of biomass for fuel, but also as carbon (C) sinks to mitigate CO2 emissions. Carbon sequestration in biomass and soil was estimated in 5year-old replicated SRC plantations with willows (Salix spp.) On former arable land at five sites in Sweden. Total standing C stocks, ie C stored in woody biomass above- and belowground, root ne root standing crop, litter, and soil organic carbon (SOC) were estimated by repeated fi eld sampling and C budget calculation.