Charcoal is widely used for cooking and heating in developing countries. The consumption of charcoal has been at high level and the demand may keep growing over the next decades, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Some preliminary studies indicate that among commonly used cooking fuels, unsustainably produced charcoal can be the most greenhouse gas intensive fuels and simple measures could deliver high GHG mitigation benefits. Through the Paris Agreement on climate change adopted in 2015, countries set themselves ambitious targets to curb climate change, and forest-related measures have an important role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Over 70% of the countries who have submitted their (intended) nationally determined contributions (NDCs) mention forestry and land use mitigation measures. Despite the importance of woodfuel in many countries, few have explicitly included measures to reduce emissions from woodfuel production and consumption. Many of the NDCs that include forestry do not yet provide detailed information on how mitigation is to be achieved. The overall objective of the publication is to provide data and information to allow for informed decision-making on the contribution sustainable charcoal production and consumption can make to climate change mitigation. More specifically, the publication aims to answer the following questions: - What are the climate change impacts of the current practices on charcoal production and consumption worldwide and across regions? - What is the potential of sustainable charcoal production in GHG emission reductions and how such potential can be achieved? - What are the key barriers to sustainable charcoal production and what actions are required to develop a climate-smart charcoal sector?
Founded in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO provides a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. The Organization publishes authoritative publications on agriculture, fisheries, forestry and nutrition.