The industry is highlighting to policy makers that the timber supply chain provides an excellent example of how it is possible to achieve economic growth without increasing GHG emissions.

Academic, peer reviewed studies have estimated that emissions amounting to 14-31% of global CO2 could be avoided by using more timber in construction. This is partly through creating less carbon-intensive material such as concrete and steel, partly through the carbon sequestration and storage effect of timber products.

A further 12-19% of annual global fossil fuel consumption could be saved through using more wood waste as energy.
Outside Europe several countries including USA and China have started to devise ways in which building with wood can be part of their climate change policy. Europe is home to some of the world’s most ambitious timber construction projects yet has no such policies in place despite the enormous benefits which would accrue.

David Hopkins, director of Wood for Good in the UK and lead speaker at the event said: "We welcome the commitment of EU Leaders to the 40% emissions reduction target and the recognition they give to forestry as a carbon sink. However, forests are only the first stage of a value chain which actively reduces emissions and boosts economic growth.

"The woodworking industry has set itself a goal of increasing annual industrial output by 4% across the EU. This modest increase would contribute an additional €2.35bn to the economy, creating 80,000 new jobs while reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions by an additional 150 million tones," said Mr Hopkins.