Page 67 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2015 publication
P. 67
Summer 2015 European Energy Innovation 67


It’s easy to fall in love with in to Stockholm, seeing the long term. Forests contribute to
the forest. It offers a place shifting colours of green covering reducing CO2 emissions into
for recreation, natural beauty the landscape, it becomes the atmosphere by sequestering
and diversity of life. It offers clear that we actually live in the carbon as they grow creating a
renewable timber resources, forest. Hundreds of thousands carbon sink in the forest biomass
bioenergy and new products of families and individuals own a and the soil, by storing carbon
replacing fossil based chemicals large part of this forest, managing in harvested wood products and
and plastics. It offers green jobs it sustainably with future by substituting fossil fuels and
and an answer to climate change. generations in mind. energy-intensive materials.
It may sound too good to be true,
but when it comes to forests you In the Nordics we have extensive A wooden house creates a net
can both have the cake and eat it. forest resources and we are used uptake of CO2 in a hundred
to sustainably managing them year time frame and at the
Forests and forestry can and have for a multitude of purposes. same time we can plant new
to be a part of the solution to This close relationship to and forest, which binds even more
the big challenges facing society knowledge about the forest is not carbon. Forests also play a
today. In the Nordic countries always present in the EU policy significant role in reducing our
we are blessed with a vast forest making, where some politicians dependency on fossil energy.
resource, offering a multitude of push for detailed regulations Today, 50% of Sweden’s energy
values and potentials. However, on how the forests should be use is renewable and 85% of
for those values to be promoted managed and used instead of the bioenergy comes from
and for realising the full potential seeing the potential and the residues from forestry and forest
of the forests, there is a need to broader picture. industries. In Europe the growth
have politicians and society on of the forests is significantly
board, supporting the vision of Recently the European Parliament larger than the harvest and
forests as part of the solution. adopted its resolution on the new the forest area is continuously
EU Forest Strategy. It highlights increasing. Sweden increased its
In the context of EU policy the importance of sustainable forest stock by twofold over the
making, forestry is not a EU forest management and the past century, while at the same
competence and the principle of multifunctional role of Europe’s time increasing the harvest. This
subsidiarity applies. However, the forests. It confirms that forests shows the potential for increased
picture is much more complex are important in creating green climate benefits from sustainable
than that. In reality, forests jobs and growth. “The new management and use of forests.
are impacted by a number of strategy must therefore promote
different policy areas, for example sustainable use of timber and INVESTING IN THE
climate, energy, environment other forest materials without BIOECONOMY
and agriculture, and these adding red tape for forest owners In responding to climate change
may have conflicting goals. In and the sector”, said rapporteur we need to speed up the
dealing with this complex policy Elisabeth Köstinger (EPP, AT). transition from a fossil based
setting we also need to remind Furthermore, the resolution society to a biobased one.
ourselves that the forests and recognizes the important role that Everything made from oil can
our perspective on them varies Europe’s private forest owners be made from wood instead,
greatly across Europe. play in taking care of 60% of the replacing the black carbon atom
forestland. with the green one. We can make
THE NORDIC PEOPLE LIVE IN new smart packaging, bioplastics,
THE FOREST FORESTS ARE KEY IN clothes, biochemicals, medicin,
For the Nordic people forests are COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE fuels for our cars and much more.
of great importance. Sweden and Through sustainable and
Finland are among EUs largest active forest management the In the Nordic forest sector and
countries by area, with forests best climate mitigation and among the forest owners there is
covering 70% of the land. Flying adaptation is reached in the a strong belief in the bioeconomy,
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