“Reforest our planet, retimber our cities”

“Reforest our planet, retimber our cities”


Professor Schellnhuber delivers strong message in support of a key role for wood in President Ursula von der Leyen’s New European Bauhaus

Professor Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber of the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany today delivered a powerful climate change message backing the use of more wood in the built environment.

Speaking to his theme – “Reforest the planet, retimber the cities” – Prof Schellnhuber stated: “We need to create an alternative carbon sink and wood construction is the perfect answer”.

“We can turn the timber into construction material in the built environment, recycle most of the wood […] you have cascade utilisation and immediately replant the trees that you have taken away and even increase the forest area, then you have what I call the ‘Forestry-Construction Pump’.

Prof Schellnhuber is acknowledged as being the mastermind behind the Commission President’s initiative for a New European Bauhaus.

Mrs Ruth Reichstein of the European Commission made it clear that:

 “The President of the European Commission has become a huge fan of building in wood and is delighted to see the New European Bauhaus conversation growing every day.  It is a project of hope, a project of recovery. 

Within it, renovation can be as valuable and beautiful as new construction.  With this in mind, let us turn our cities into urban forests.”

Reichstein is the pivotal European Commission official in charge of developing the New European Bauhaus, including liaising between the cabinet of President von der Leyen and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

What is the New European Bauhaus?

The virtual wood4bauhaus conference brought together over 1,000 participants, including business, designers and civil society representatives and it showcased the aesthetic beauty and sustainability of wood as a key driver in construction and living for a carbon neutral society. A video of the entire conference and the complete programme, including a full list of the speakers, can be found here: wood4bauhaus.eu

The virtual conference was organised by the newly constituted Wood Sector Alliance for the New European Bauhaus which was formed in part as a response to the President’s call for wood to play a key role in transforming the built environment into a carbon sink. The Alliance has been accepted by the Commission as an active Partner of New European Bauhaus.

The European Commission’s New European Bauhaus calls for a creative, interdisciplinary, novel movement embedded in the society to imagine together a sustainable future and to engage on a transformative path towards affordable and beautiful living spaces in the urban and rural environment. A key step is the transformation of the building sector into a circular model that can also counteract the escalating climate crisis.