Plant trees to meet UK climate change commitments, Confor urges government

Forestry industry body Confor has written to forestry minister Thérèse Coffey to press for additional funding to plant productive forests in England, following the EU's signing of the Paris Agreement on greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Confor
Image: Confor

The letter proposes that the new forests contain a significant proportion of productive softwood trees, as these fast-growing trees sequester carbon more quickly and, when harvested, lock that carbon up in wood products.

Carbon locked up in this way can also be reckoned in the UK's greenhouse gas reporting when the wood produced comes from UK forests.

Planting more productive forestry would also support the English forestry and timber industry which faces a shortfall of wood in coming years that will damage the rural economy, Confor points out.

The UK sawmilling, panel board and wood energy sectors are facing a falling off in supply from the 2030s - a challenge set out in the report Wood Fibre Availability and Demand in Britain 2013-2035 prepared for the industry and Forestry Commission.

The European Parliament ratified the Paris Agreement on 4 October, and Prime Minister Theresa May has committed the UK to ratifying it domestically by the end of the year. 

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