Confor welcomes COP28 announcements on using more wood in construction

8 December 2023

Confor has welcomed an announcement at COP28 in Dubai supporting the need to substantially increase the use of timber in construction as a vital decarbonisation strategy. 

The announcement was made at a COP Presidency event under the auspices of the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership (FCLP) which is co-chaired by the United States Special Presidential Climate Envoy, John Kerry and the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources for Ghana, Samuel Jinapor. 

In the announcement, a coalition of 17 countries  - including the UK - committed to “advancing policies and approaches that support low carbon construction and increase the use of wood from sustainably managed forests in the built environment” by 2030.  

The statement went on to say: “Such policies and approaches will result in reduced GHG emissions, and an increase in stored carbon.” 

Confor Chief Executive Stuart Goodall welcomed the announcement, which came on the eve of Confor’s annual policy conference at Westminster, Green Growth: Why Wood is the Missing Low-Carbon Link. 

He said: “The COP28 statement is both extremely welcome and very timely, as the forestry and wood sector met in London to discuss the value, and huge opportunities, of using far more home-grown wood in construction – an opportunity that has been largely over-looked until recently.  

“It is crucial for countries to move quickly to lower carbon emissions and increase stored carbon by using far more timber in buildings.” 

The National Wood Strategy for England was launched at the policy conference at Westminster by Tom Barnes, Managing Director of Vastern Timber, who co-authored the report with Confor’s Deputy CEO Andy Leitch. It was strongly welcomed by new forestry minister Rebecca Pow MP.  

The Strategy is a blueprint for “planting, growing, harvesting and processing conifer and broadleaf trees in England”. 

It sets out detailed measures to ensure the proportion of home-grown wood in construction can substantially increase over the coming years.   

Mr Goodall added: “The COP28 announcement, and the launch of the National Wood Strategy, illustrates the link between thinking globally and acting locally, and the need to make the link between the trees we grow and the wood products we need for net zero. The National Wood Strategy has won support across the forestry and wood sector and lays down a very positive way forward for our industry.”