The Conference consider the roles of forests in mitigating climate change, in promoting wood as a renewable energy carrier as well as in protecting water quality and quantity.
The ministers responsible for forests from 46 European countries, representatives of the European Community as well as delegates from observer countries and international organizations are invited to take part in deliberations on the priorities of forest policy in Europe.
"Climate change, as a result of a fossil-fuel-based economy, requires quick, strong and concerted efforts to keep global warming below 2° C and ideally stop it. On the other hand energy supply needs to be secured to sustain Europe’s growth and wealth", says Elisabet Salander-Björklund on behalf of The European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois) and the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). Entire forest-based industries in Europe represent 2.5 millions of jobs and a turnover of 340 Billions Euro, thus contributing significantly to well-being and growth in Europe.
Bio-energy offers a huge potential for whole Europe, but this has to be put in the right context and accompanied with adequate policies and instruments. Otherwise, negative impacts for Europe might be significant, if not irreversible. Focus on a sustainable and efficient use of resources will play a critical role in the near future.
"Our industries are already climate-friendly since they deliver goods that store carbon as long as they are used, recovered and recycled. Moreover wood products are a natural substitute to non-renewable materials, like steel, aluminium or plastics, and have a much better carbon profile, whilst offering at least the same if not better technological performances. And still, at the end of their life, wood products can be turned into biomass", Ms Salander-Björklund continues.
Forest industry is already today a significant and efficient player in the generation of clean energy. "We therefore offer you all that expertise and ask you to consider us as a key enabler to the development of renewable energy in Europe. This is why we ask you, not to put our future at risk, but rather to see to it that the future of renewable energies in Europe strongly and positively connected and correlated to the sustainable future of our industry", Ms Salander-Björklund addresses.
For more information, please contact
Anders Portin, SVP, Sustainable Development and Resources, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6610, e-mail firstname.lastname (at) forestindustries.fi