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The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) today released a report highlighting the key role forests and forest products play in furthering sustainable solutions in a resource constrained world. Facts and Trends: Forests, forest products, carbon & energy underlines their necessity for a future low-carbon and bio-based economy, as they can help to reduce society’s greenhouse gas emissions.
To meet growing demand for forest fiber, sustainable forest management is a key strategy and development opportunity, accommodating and leveraging the ample economic, social and ecological benefits of forests and forest products.
Facts and Trends: Forests, forest products, carbon & energy aligns with the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which noted that over the long term sustainable forest management strategies that maintain or increase forest carbon stocks, while sustaining yield of timber, fiber or energy will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.
This report is a companion document to the November 2011 released The Sustainable Forest Products Industry, Carbon and Climate Change – Key Messages for Policy-Makers and provides an overview of simple facts and trends about forests, forest products, carbon and energy.
About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a CEO-led organization of forward-thinking companies that galvanizes the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. Together with its members, the Council applies its respected thought leadership and effective advocacy to generate constructive solutions and take shared action. Leveraging its strong relationships with stakeholders as the leading advocate for business, the Council helps drive debate and policy change in favor of sustainable development solutions.
The WBCSD provides a forum for its 200 member companies - who represent all business sectors, all continents and a combined revenue of more than $7 trillion - to share best practices on sustainable development issues and to develop innovative tools that change the status quo. The Council also benefits from a network of 60 national and regional business councils and partner organizations, a majority of which are based in developing countries.
For more information, please contact
Vanessa Whittall, Communications
+41 22 839 3157
By signing a Memorandum of Understanding this week, the executive directors of four European associations – namely the Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), the European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR), the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), and the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) - formally committed themselves to strengthen their communication and cooperation in the future.
The four organisations, representing the core of the European forest sector, have a long history of regular communication and frequent cooperation. Forestry plays a prominent role in the work of each association. The associations represent major stakeholders of the European forest resource-holding side (the forest owners) and the processing side (the forest-based industry) –embodying the key players of the entire European forest and timber value chain. All four organisations are also shareholders of the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FTP).
The purpose of this memorandum is to formally agree:
- to regularly meet, communicate and exchange information about forest and forest-based sectors relevant topics and policy developments at EU and pan-European level and the activities of each organisation.
- to observe risks and opportunities of non-forest and forest policies for the forest and forest-based sector at EU and pan-European level.
- to explore options of cooperation and common activities, in particular to strengthen and promote forest and forest-based sector positions within EU and pan-European policy processes and other related initiatives.
The common principles of the forest sector core group are:
- to promote the principles of Sustainable Forest Management, and facilitate its implementation at all levels.
- to promote the use of wood and resource efficiency.
- to promote the relevance of the forest and forest-based sector in rural development and a global green economy.
For further details about this cooperation and pictures or interview requests, please contact the Secretariats of each of the organisations below.
FTP – Forest-based Sector Technology Platform: www.forestplatform.org
CEPI is of the opinion that sustainability criteria for the sustainable sourcing and conversion of solid biomass should address primarily potentially adverse effects of a strong increase of the use of solid biomass for energy including from imports. Since the 2020 renewable energy target ultimately aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, solid biomass criteria should primarily be carbon related and include efficiency principles.
Regarding forest management, the criteria should apply irrespective of the final use of the wood. They should be limited to the criteria set out below, since further detailed forest management criteria would conflict with national forest policies, go beyond the intention to ensure carbon neutrality and ignore the specificities of Sustainable Forest Management in the different parts of Europe.
In addition to the carbon and forest management related sustainability criteria applying to the sourcing of biomass, energy conversion of biomass eligible for support should be subject to efficiency principles to ensure the positive substitution effect of carbon neutral biomass.
Solid biomass shall be taken into account for the purposes of the Renewable Energy Directive/eligible for support only if it fulfils the following:
1. Biomass sourcing
1.1 Carbon sustainability:
Forest biomass shall come from countries with mandatory LULUCF accounting. If biomass is procured from non-LULUCF accounting countries, credible proof has to be given that the harvesting rate in this country does not exceed 100% and the biomass does not come from land conversion. Where there is overharvesting at the country level, the operator has to give sufficient proof that there is no overharvesting at the relevant regional level of the biomass origin
1.2 Forest management
Forest biomass shall come from legal sources. Verification: Compliance with the provisions of the EU Timber Regulation EC/995/2010.
Forest biomass shall come from forests that are managed in accordance with the principles and criteria of sustainable forest management as defined by the Helsinki Resolution H1: General Guidelines for the Sustainable Management of Forests in Europe.
Outside of Europe they shall at least correspond to the criteria or guidelines for sustainable forest management as adopted under the respective international and regional initiatives (ITTO, Montreal Process, Tarapoto Process, UNEP/FAO Dry-Zone Africa Initiative).
2. Biomass conversion
2.1 Greenhouse Gas Savings criterion:
The GHG saving should be at least 50% (60% from 2018) compared to the national fossil fuel based generation of electricity and heating and cooling.
In addition to the sustainability criteria on carbon and forest management, installations eligible for support for the use of solid biomass for energy generation should be subject to efficiency principles to ensure the positive substitution effect of carbon neutral biomass.
Resource efficiency principles:
Heat and electricity based on solid and gaseous biomass should be produced at an overall efficiency of at least 70% (lower for small installations (e.g. < 1 MW) or where CHP cannot be applied). Member states should not support but further even avoid the use of biomass in coal plants with the current low efficiencies. Supporting co-firing of biomass in coal plants at low efficiencies is an environmentally harmful subsidy.
Cascading approach to forest raw material principles:
The development of the energy use of biomass can only be considered in the light of an application of a "cascading approach", a principle that aims at promoting, whenever it applies, the most efficient use of natural resources with a view to optimize the creation of value, ideally firstly for food, then products and finally for energy. A supply policy for forest biomass – which ideally should also be allocated some support funding - must include this cascading use principle and allow all needs to be met.