UK timber industry calls for unity at COP15

Published:  16 December, 2009

COPENHAGEN: The UK timber industry has urged world leaders to agree on a workable action plan for timber sustainability at the forthcoming COP15 summit.

While timber will feature on the COP15 agenda, the UK’s Timber Trade Federation has appealed to delegates to introduce a global cap and trade scheme, which will discriminate in favour of sustainable timber and help address the global issue of illegally traded wood.

John White, chief executive of the Timber Trade Federation, said: “Timber is quite simply the greenest building material known to man, if managed sustainably.  Putting timber at the top of the agenda at the COP15 summit should be an easy win for all concerned.

“Timber has tremendous environmental benefits and we would urge the rest of the world to follow the UK’s example, which shows that it is both possible and profitable to have a sustainable timber industry.  Illegal logging has a huge impact on the industry’s reputation globally and it is vital that systems are put in place to help countries deal with the problem.”

The UK’s timber industry has already implemented measures to address illegal timber, and it is keen that others learn from its success, for example a recent Timber Trade Association report showed that FSC and PEFC certified timber now accounts for almost 85% of timber in the UK.

The Timber Trade Federation is lobbying for the COP15 summit to deliver a global cap and trade scheme that allows the price of carbon to be internalised into the cost of goods and services we buy.  This will discriminate in favour of sustainably grown wood because wood absorbs and stores carbon giving wood a price advantage over more polluting products. This will provide the economic incentive to ensure the preservation of the resource, and provide the jobs and income so important to developing countries in the tropics.

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