Timber industry urges policymakers to back low-carbon economy

The £8.5bn timber industry will have a significant role in promoting the low-carbon economy according to a report launched by the Timber Accord - an alliance of the UK's timber trade associations.

The report is divided into four key sections: Low-carbon economy; Sustainable jobs & growth; Homes for the future; and Health & wellbeing. It suggests 12 policy areas that the UK Government should focus upon to boost the economy as well as reducing emissions. (Scroll down for the full report).

Representatives presented the report to a number of national and local politicians and a full roll-out to policymakers across the UK will begin this week.

Emission reduction

David Hopkins, executive director of timber industry communications and promotion campaign Wood for Good, said: “There has never been a clearer need for policies which can kick-start sustainable economic growth without increasing emissions.

“The timber industry is one supply chain that can help achieve this. It has the capacity to grow fast, provide employment across the skills spectrum, while manufacturing the future-proofed, low-carbon homes we so desperately need. All the while, the increased demand for timber products drives investment back into the forests helping reduce emissions further.

“As politicians start preparing their manifestos for 2015 we urge them to acknowledge the role that this natural low-carbon supply chain already provides.”

INFOGRAPHIC: What can the Government do?

The report states that timber is one of the safest and cheapest forms of carbon capture and storage available and reveals that increasing UK forest cover by just 4% would see a national CO2 emission reduction of 10% by 2050.

Sustainable timber

Last month played host to a number of sustainable timber commitments.

– Ikea, Tetrapak and Kingfisher founded the ‘Value and Impact’ (VIA) initiative with the aim of promoting the benefits of legal, responsibly sourced, sustainable timber.

– Tesco, M&S, Homebase and Sky were amongst a coalition of big businesses to sign up to a WWF-UK commitment to use 100% sustainable timber by 2020.

– The UN Climate Summit in New York saw the announcement of the ‘New York Declaration on Forests’ – a global pledge to eliminate between 4.5 and 8.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year – endorsed by the US, the EU and multinational companies from the food, paper, finance and other industries.

REPORT: Growing our low-carbon economy

Lois Vallely

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