France turns to wood for environmentally-friendly building

The French government and key construction companies have signed an agreement to significantly increase the use of wood in construction to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The ministers for the environment, agriculture and housing, together with France’s biggest construction companies signed an agreement committing them to increase the use of wood in construction by 25% by 2010. They said that using more wood would lead to decreases in greenhouse gases through using less metals, brick and stones in construction work.

The agreement said that the use of wood was “under-exploited” and committed each signatory to take appropriate action to boost it. This will include publicity, increased access to markets and competition, training and lifting restrictions which are often placed on its useage.

The agreement is to be followed by a forthcoming air quality law, requiring new buildings timber content to be announced, which aims to boost wood use and help the government achieve its target.

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