As the first ever Built Environment Day at COP26 approaches, Timber Development UK is calling for world and industry leaders to recognise the pressing need to use wood in construction.
With the built environment responsible for nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions, using low-carbon renewable materials such as timber is essential for limiting the impact of global heating.
This call for recognition originates from the Time for Timber Manifesto and the Tropical Timber Accord launched by the global timber industry over the last two weeks which lay out the case for building with wood.
Using wood in construction has a range of climate benefits for the built environment, as it:
- Sequesters carbon in forests as trees grow
- Stores carbon in harvested wood products
- Substitutes for carbon intensive materials such as steel, concrete and plastics
- Drives sustainable forest management leading to greater growth
- Contributes to a circular economy as wood products can be reused, recycled and recovered for low-carbon energy at end-of-life
Timber Development UK chief executive, David Hopkins, said:
“While it has been excellent to see the essential role global forests play in preventing climate change recognised in the first week of COP26, we must connect this work with the sustainable and circular economy for forest products such as timber – and this should happen today.
“Our built environment is responsible for nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions, yet often it has been sorely missed as an area of focus for emissions reductions. We can applaud the inclusion of our built environment in COP26, but now the role of timber should take centre stage.
“Sustainable timber production ensures forests are maintained with many trees planted for every one harvested. These products also store carbon, and can help transform our built environment into a form of carbon capture and storage as opposed to a major form of emissions.”