Timber Development UK calls for recognition of crucial role of timber on built environment day at COP26

Timber Development UK calls for recognition of crucial role of timber on built environment day at COP26

Press Release · By Timber Trade Federation · 11 November 2021

As we enter the first-ever Built Environment Day at COP26, Timber Development UK (the trade association formed from the merger of the UK Timber Trade Federation and TRADA) 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 comes on the back of the Time for Timber Manifesto and 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:

  1. Sequesters carbon in forests as trees grow
  2. Stores carbon in harvested wood products
  3. Substitutes for carbon intensive materials such as steel, concrete and plastics
  4. Drives sustainable forest management leading to greater growth
  5. Contributes to a circular economy as wood products can be reused, recycled and recovered for low-carbon energy at end-of-life

Sustainable timber is a proven, realistic solution for preserving, growing, and extending global forests, whether in Europe, North America, or the tropics, and is based on existing, quickly scalable business models and proven technology.

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 COemissions, 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.

“I urge policymakers to read the newly released ‘Time for Timber’ manifesto which outlines how we can use wood in construction to revolutionise our cities – for all building types – including for tall timber buildings, and the policies to supercharge timber’s potential.

“By building more using sustainable timber, we can improve construction practice, lower carbon emissions, improve health outcomes, and deliver improved ecological outcomes.”

The ‘Time for Timber’ manifesto can be viewed here – https://worldofwoodfestival.org/timefortimber/

The ‘Tropical Timber Accord’ can be viewed here – https://worldofwoodfestival.org/accord/

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