Earlier in October the European Parliament, gathered in Plenary session, adopted the report “The European Forest Strategy – The way forward”, led by the Rapporteur Petri Sarvamaa (Finland, EPP Group), which stresses the need for a balanced, independent and self-standing EU Forest Strategy for the post-2020 period, built on a comprehensive understanding of Sustainable Forest Management. Source: Timberbiz
This approach is the way forward to enable the European forests and forest-based Industries to tap into their potential of climate change mitigation and sustainable job creation, in line with the 2050 climate-neutrality objective of the EU.
As the report rightly acknowledges, “stepping up the circular bio-economy is an essential approach to achieving a low-carbon society in the implementation of the Green Deal”, and the European Woodworking Industries play an essential role in that transition.
The sector also offers an example of a circular bio-based industrial ecosystem, where materials, by-products and residues are supplied across the various parts of the value chain to make the most efficient use of resources, including through re-use and recycling.
Promoting the use of wood-based products also provides a robust and immediate solution for reaching a carbon-neutral EU economy, thanks to the effects of carbon storage in wood and substitution of fossil-based materials. This offers the potential to decarbonise the building sector, both in sustainable new construction and in the energy efficient renovation of the existing building stock: wood products used in renovation provide excellent insulation properties and require less energy in manufacturing and transport, thereby reducing the final embodied energy in the building.
The Forest-based bioeconomy brings jobs and growth mainly in rural areas: the number of employees in the Woodworking Industries alone should be estimated at substantially more than 2.1 million, for a total number of 180.000 companies and a production value of €240 billion in 2018.
The European Woodworking Industries are committed to the legal and sustainable sourcing of raw materials. The provision of wood is one of the many key functions of sustainably managed forests, and one that provides the income to be reinvested in climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, to preserve the health and resilience of European forests against the increasing threats of disturbances and diseases.
The report can be downloaded here: