Impacts of the pulp and paper sector on climate change

The pulp and paper industry’s most significant impact on climate occurs during the pulp and paper manufacturing process.
 
The pulp and paper industry is the fourth largest industrial user of energy, consuming 6.4 EJ in 2005, and a significant emitter of greenhouse gas (source EIA report 2008).

In fact, the largest share of greenhouse gas released in pulp and paper manufacturing comes from the energy production to power the mills. Greenhouse gases are the main source of climate change/global warming.

The disposal of used paper also contributes to climate change.

Paper emits methane (a greenhouse gas) when it rots, while it also releases the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) when it is composted or burned.

The C02 emissions coming from the burning or decomposition of wood, during the paper making process or at the end of the life of the product, will be stored back in the forest when it grows, if it is managed appropriately. Meanwhile it can be a very large amount of CO2 emitted to the athmosphere, which is not well measured until now.
 / ©: Kjell-Arne Larsson / WWF
Paper mill Hälsingland County Sweden
© Kjell-Arne Larsson / WWF
Find out more about the impacts of the pulp and paper industry on:

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Donate to WWF

Your support will help us build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.