On 13 September, the European Parliament held a vote about forest carbon sinks and a proposal that guarantees the use of forest resources in future was successful. The proposal also allows increased use of forest resources without Member States suffering emissions penalties.
A proposal by the European Commission and the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment would have meant that Member States’ forest resources would have to continue to grow as much as in the recent past. This approach is unfair, especially to Finland, as during the period in question the country faced a recession as well as restructuring in the forest sector. For this reason, an unusually high volume of forest resources were left unused. A similar situation, of course, must not be set as the objective in future.
A favourable result must be secured in future negotiations also
Carbon sink policy is absolutely central to Finland for many reasons. Increased wood use offers opportunities for cutting emissions, increasing renewable energy, as well as for a strong economy – i.e. sustainable development. It would be unsustainable if carbon sink policy were to direct the economic, employment, and environmental benefits of wood use to regions outside Europe.
“The Parliament finally understands that Europe has significant forest resources and that they are still growing. Big thanks for this go to Finnish MEPs, most of which voted correctly and of which delightfully many took on a major role to influence the formation of the correct stance on this issue,” says Timo Jaatinen, Director General of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.
Next, EU Member States must find an overall solution that allows Finland to use its forest resources according to its national strategy without threat of sanctions. According to the European Commission, carbon sink policy does not aim to upset Member States’ plans. Now we need guarantees that this cannot happen even by accident.
For further information, please contact:
Director General Timo Jaatinen, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6600, firstname.lastname@example.org
Manager, Energy and Climate Policy Ahti Fagerblom, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 40 820 9763, email@example.com