A call to use more timber

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“The construction sector can even be turned from a carbon source into a carbon sink, if organic materials like wood and smart technologies like AI are being used”.

This undeniable support for the increased use of timber came as part of a speech from European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in announcing plans to create a new Bauhaus modelled on the influential design school as part of the European Union’s €750 billion coronavirus recovery plan.

The statement is applauded by the Time For Timber campaign as the use timber as a carbon sink is a vital tool in hitting net zero by 2050. A single cubic metre of timber will save around 0.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, as more of this greenhouse gas is absorbed and stored within timber products than is emitted during its harvesting process, manufacturing and transportation combined.

This setting of a new agenda was followed up by her call,

“We need to change how we treat nature”.

“Our current levels of consumption of raw materials, energy, water, food and land use are not sustainable,” she added. “We need to change how we treat nature, how we produce and consume, live and work, eat and heat, travel and transport.”

The EU’s State of the Union address went on to propose an EU-wide net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This target puts the EU on a balanced pathway to reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The Commission’s proposal is based on a thorough impact assessment and confirms that reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030 is a realistic and feasible course of action.

Achieving this increased climate ambition will require an investment boost, which will contribute to a green recovery from the current COVID-19 crisis.

We applaud this clear pathway and commitment to reduce carbon, as timber will play a key role in enabling the construction sector to meet its targets.