The European Union (EU) has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050. This will require us to both drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to increase carbon dioxide removals. Many countries rely heavily on scenarios that substitute fossil fuels with wood products, which reduces the forest carbon sink. Several recently published research papers have found that introducing more resilient forestry practices can help achieve societal and environmental goals.
These developments provided an important opportunity for Fern and Canopée to invite EU representatives, experts, industry and civil society to our panel event on 15 July 2020, "What Climate Strategy for European Forests? Rethinking their contribution to climate neutrality". The event discussed the many variables that should be discussed when creating pathways for forests to adapt to and fight climate change. Speakers addressed land-use trade-offs of certain strategies, the complexities of addressing wood substitution, the impacts of actions on biodiversity, and the overall need to address ecology, economy and society when devising strategies for forests.
The event discussed three studies - click on the links to see the presentations:
- Kelsey Perlman, Fern: Introduction - Increasing the role of forests under the European Green Deal.
- Sebastian Rüter, ClimWood2030 study: What is the climate impact of substituting fossil resources with wood-based biomass in the EU?
- Gaëtan du Bus de Warnaffe, Arbre et Bois Conseil: French case study: Forest Management and Climate Change: a new approach to forest mitigation strategies
- Gino Baudry, Imperial College London: The European Calculator: A user-friendly tool to explore sustainable futures / A focus on the land-use, land-use change and forestry modelling framework
- Q&A: This document features speakers’ written answers to the questions that we were not able to ask during the event, due to time constraints.
Links to all reports and projects are below:
- Find out more about European forest trends and a new summary of the French decarbonisation report.
- ClimWood2030's report, ‘Climate benefits of material substitution by forest biomass and harvested wood products: Perspective 2030’
- Forest Management and Climate Change: A New Approach to the French Mitigation Strategy
- Transition Pathways Explorer powered by EUCalc