Latest News - Wood Panel Sector Helps Launch European `Wood Action Day`

Wood Panel Sector Helps Launch European `Wood Action Day`
Tue, Mar 27, 2012

A conference will be held this evening (27 March) in Brussels to mark the launch of a ‘Wood Action Day’ in the European Parliament. The conference has been jointly sponsored by the European Panel Federation and the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry.

 

The conference will include a discussion of how to make Europe greener through the use of wood. This will include a focus on the importance of using wood in construction in order to make full use of its carbon storage properties. The conference will also highlight industry concerns about the impact of biomass subsidies on the wood panel sector and the need for change in this area.

 

To coincide with the event politicians across Europe will receive wooden gifts to demonstrate the value of processing wood into products that can store carbon instead of burning it for energy generation.

 

Wood and wood-based products support more than 2 million jobs and contribute almost €2 billion to European economies every year. Using just 4% more wood in this way would sequester an additional 150 million tonnes of CO2 each year, reducing Europe’s overall emissions.

 

Biomass plants currently burn virgin and waste timber before it comes to the end of its useable life, which undermines the waste hierarchy. In order to maximise the carbon storage and economic potential of this valuable resource, wood should only be burnt for energy at the end of its useable life.

 

Alastair Kerr of the Wood Panel Industries Federation said:

 

"It’s important that as many people as possible are made aware of the benefits of wood in the economy and from an environmental point of view."

 

"In addition to the economic arguments we have also calculated that CO2 emissions could actually increase by six million tonnes each year if the government continues to put resources into biomass power stations, effectively cancelling out any environmental benefits into the bargain."

 

"Carbon storage in harvested wood products extends the carbon sequestration benefits provided by forests. Their role in mitigating climate change has been now been recognised in the recent European Commission Proposal for a Decision on ‘accounting rules and action plans on greenhouse gas emissions and removals resulting from activities related to land use, land use change and forestry’.[1] The European Institutions and National Governments are now requested to adopt the European Commission Proposal and to take appropriate measures in order to fully implement the Decision."

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