Forest Industries Ireland (FII) has said the Government should implement a ‘wood first’ policy and increase the timber industries.
It has strongly urged the Government to move more quickly to meet carbon reduction targets by scaling up the existing timber sector.
It said that the Government has an opportunity to tackle the challenges of the climate emergency by vastly increasing the use of timber, which locks away carbon for decades.
the Government could deliver on its climate, economic, employment and housing targets all in one go.
The FII has said by implementing a wood first policy and by increasing the timber industry output, the Government could deliver on its climate, economic, employment and housing targets all in one go.
It said it recognises that international and national targets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 are in place.
However, it said that will not happen unless “people wake up to the fact that one of the single biggest cures to tackling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is simply growing more trees and using this locally produced timber in our built environment”.
It explains, for every cubic metre of timber used, 0.9t of carbon dioxide will then be stored in the product for its entire lifecycle
Timber products have the lowest embodied carbon of any mainstream building material meaning they take less energy to produce and are therefore better for the environment.
It explains, for every cubic metre of timber used, 0.9t of carbon dioxide will then be stored in the product for its entire lifecycle.
The FII has said millions of tonnes of CO2 could be sequestered by building more timber-frame housing, which can be built 30% faster, and a change in building regulations can support that.
FII, which represents the 12,000 jobs in the sector, has launched a new series of free online eLearning courses to support timber specification.
This is a superb natural resource that fights climate change
Director of FII Mark McAuley commented: “Ireland has developed a hugely valuable forest estate. We grow softwood conifers faster than elsewhere in Europe. Forestry and timber are a major component of our growing bioeconomy.
“This is a superb natural resource that fights climate change and, with it, we can plot a new way forward for housing in Ireland.
“Increased economic value from the forest sector through the development of high-performance engineered wood products will contribute to export potential and job creation in the sector.
“Furthermore, a manufacturing industry based around the use of Irish timber, with increased utilisation of Irish-grown Sitka spruce in added-value applications, should also lead to increase in the financial returns to forest owners,” he added.