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Bioenergy Europe: Joint statement COP24 – Forests and the forest sector should play an active role in climate change mitigation and adaptation

Forests represent a significant potential for climate change mitigation. The signing organisations call on the parties to the Paris Agreement to recognise in their conclusions of the COP24 the role of actively managed forests in climate mitigation and adaptation, in particular:

  • highlight the potential for carbon storage in wood products and substitution of fossil materials and energy for climate change mitigation through the increased use of wood and its products;
  • enhance the absorption of CO2 through active forest management and creation of new forests;
  • adapting forest management practice to make forests more resilient to changing climatic conditions.

Representing 13% of the net removals of EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions, the capture of CO2 in forests, carbon storage and the substitution of fossil material and energy have to play a crucial role in the international negotiations of the COP24.

At the same time, forests are seriously affected by climate change: This summer has clearly shown that global warming causes an increased amount of forest fires and leads to an extension of areas affected by wild fires. Forest fires not only represent a serious danger for the climate, environment and biodiversity, but also a serious threat for human beings and rural areas.

Furthermore, the occurrence of other natural disturbances such as storms, insects’ outbreaks, extended draught periods and heat waves are increasingly reported by forest owners and managers and are projected to further increase due to global warming.

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