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Keywords:

  • black liquor;
  • environmental Kuznets curve;
  • industrial ecology pulpwood demand;
  • technological improvement;
  • waste paper pulping

Summary

This study estimated paper and paperboard demand, pulpwood demand, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from production of paper and paperboard through 2050 in ten Asian countries. Under scenarios of varying population, gross domestic product (GDP), and per capita paper and paperboard demand, we analyzed the relationship between economic growth and consumption of paper and paperboard. We also evaluated options to reduce CO2 emissions through increased use of black liquor, waste paper pulping, and wood chemical pulping, as well as improvements in pulp, paper, and paperboard production technology. The quadratic curve model (inverted U) for per capita consumption of paper and paperboard against per capita GDP resulted in significant regression coefficients and higher adjusted R2 values than linear and logarithmic curve models for all uses of paper and paperboard. The estimated paper and paperboard demand in the ten countries in 2050 ranged from 112% (328%) to 156% (454%) of total 2005 consumption for the world (for the ten Asian countries). Of this estimated paper and paperboard demand, China accounted for about 50% and India 20%. The estimated pulpwood demand in these ten countries in 2050 ranged from 13% (48%) to 21% (84%) of global (ten country) 2005 wood supply potential. The introduction or increase of the use of black liquor, waste paper pulping, the combination of wood chemical pulping and black liquor, and technological improvements produced CO2 reductions of 24%, 5%, 32%, and 25%, respectively, compared to 2050 emission levels in the no-measure (unadjusted) option, assuming sustainable forest management.