The recent Committee on Climate Change report has updated its advice on the role that sustainable biomass and timber in construction can play in reducing carbon emissions and achieving ‘Net Zero’ by 2050.
The report recommends:
- Afforestation of around 30,000 hectares per year (increasing woodland cover from the current 13% of UK land area to 17%), combining this with an increase in active woodland management, increases the net forestry sink to 22 MtCO2e per year by 2050. Currently 43% of our woodlands are under managed.
- Wood-based products and timber frame construction has an established history in the UK. It provides a store of carbon on the timescale of decades to centuries in the built environment.
The report calls not only for woodland cover to increase but backs biomass as part of a system of sustainable land use including a concerted effort to reverse declines in forest cover where these are occurring and to build up stocks on managed land where they have been degraded by human activity.
The report also states that “by applying good practice and minimising competition with food production, sustainable British biomass (fuel/timber etc.) can be produced for use in construction, energy production and other bio-based products”.
Grown in Britain will play its part in the objective to get to net zero. We will continue to call for
- All planting to be designed to provide future low carbon materials as well as fantastic places for wildlife.
- Better and productive management of our existing woodlands to replace high mileage imports with UK timber.
- The widespread adoption of our certification system for home grown biomass, fuel and timber from sustainable and legal UK sources.
To read the full report see here https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Net-Zero-The-UKs-contribution-to-stopping-global-warming.pdf (page 152 for the section on biomass)