The European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS), the European Panel Federation (EPF) and the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), organised the 3rd Club du Bois meeting under the chairwomanship of Mrs Maria Noichl, MEP, on 20th April at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Following members of the EU Parliament attended the event:
- Mrs Maria Noichl, DE – Chairwoman
- Mr Paul Brannen, UK
- Mr Brando Benifei, IT
- MEP Nathalie Griesbeck, FR
- MEP Barbara Kappel, AT
- Mrs Sirpa Pietikainen, FI, represented by Ossi Lång
- MEP Ricardo Serrão Santos, PT, represented by Ana de Sousa
- MEP Davor Stier, HR
- MEP Henna Virkkunen, FI, represented by Marika Mäkinen
(Left to Right: Mr Diego Benedetti (EOS), Mrs Silvia Melegari (EOS Secretary General), Mr Patrizio Antonicoli (CEI-Bois Secretary General), MEP Maria Noichl (Chairwoman Club du Bois), MEP Paul Brannen, Mr Clive Pinnington (EPF Managing Director), MEP Nathalie Griesbeck, Mrs Marika Mäkinen (assistant of MEP Henna Virkkunen) and Mrs Ossi Lång (assistant of MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen)
Opening by Mrs Maria Noichl, MEP
Mrs Noichl opened the meeting and expressed her pleasure to be chairing her 3rd Club du Bois meeting. She looked forward to an active and stimulating meeting. She then gave the floor to the experts of the woodworking industries.
Emission Trading Scheme – Experiences from the Wood-Based Panel Industry – Mr Carlos Tavares Ferreira, Sustainability Manager, Sonae Indústria, Portugal
Mr Tavares Ferreira recalled that the European Commission presented in July 2015 a legislative proposal to revise the EU emissions trading system for the period after 2020 in order to deliverer on the EU's target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% domestically by 2030 in line with the 2030 climate and energy policy framework and as part of its contribution to the new global climate deal.
To achieve the at least 40% EU target, the sectors covered by the ETS have to reduce their emissions by 43% compared to 2005. To this end, the overall number of emission allowances will decline at an annual rate of 2.2% from 2021 onwards, compared to 1.74% currently.
In this framework the European Commission has established a list of industries that are at risk of carbon leakage – the relocation of production to countries with less ambitious climate policies. The most efficient installations can receive up to 100% of the required allowances for free. The second carbon leakage list, for the period 2015-19, was adopted in October 2014 and the sawmill and the wood-based panel sectors were both excluded from the new list. During the Club du Bois meeting Mr Tavares Ferreira provided information on the reasons why the wood-based panel sectors should be included in the new carbon leakage list (post 2020 carbon leakage list).
Wood Mobilisation – Project SIMWOOD – Mr Andreas Kleinschmit von Lengefeld, Director Innovation & Research, FCBA Technical Institute, France
Mr Kleinschmit von Lengefeld introduced the SIMWOOD project explaining that 28 organisations from 11 countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) began a joint European project to set up sustainable and innovative solutions for wood mobilisation.
He explained that the total forest area in the region is 348,233 ha, which represents 9% of the area of the region and 53% of total forest cover in the country. In particular this four-year project seeks to provide solutions on how to mobilise forest owners, promote collaborative forest management and ensure sustainable forest functions in order to mobilise the present unlocked wood resources in Europe.
Mr Kleinschmit von Lengefeld explained that the SIMWOOD project works in 17 regions across Europe, selected for their high relevance to Europe’s wood mobilisation challenge. In each the SIMWOOD model regions, a detailed analysis of the present situation and the barriers and challenges for wood mobilisation which currently exist, have been made.
In each region, SIMWOOD has a Regional Learning Laboratory (RLL) as an integral part of the research process. This is linked to existing initiatives in the region, and is collaborative: teaming up with regional stakeholders to obtain fresh findings on the region’s specific status quo, chances and proposed solutions.
Mr Kleinschmit also presented the growing demand for wood and highlighted following points:
• Based on the increase in GDP, total consumption for wood products is projected to increase from 739 million m3 roundwood equivalent (RWE) in 2010 to 853 million m3
• As from 2030 onwards ‘solid’ uses will steadily grow
• New chemical uses will emerge
• Over the last decades, wood fuel consumption has shown a growth rate of about 1.5% per year.
Woodworking Industry in the Core of Bio-economy – Mrs Karoliina Niemi, Manager EU Forest Issues, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, Finland
Mrs Karoliina Niemi started her presentation by telling about global megatrends, such as digitalisation, population growth, urbanisation, and competition over natural resources that guide consumption choices and influence the use of resources. Every day, about 100 000 people in the world need a new home, and housing will be focussed in cities. At this moment construction uses half of the world's resources and produces 40% of all waste. How can we change direction and make all this in a more climate friendly way and in such a manner that human beings and nature feel good? This can be achieved by using the renewable raw material wood. Wood answers conscious consumers' needs related to good living. Research shows that it is a material that enhances health and comfort.
A successful wood-based bio-economy starts from a forest. In her presentation Mrs Niemi emphasised that in the EU forest area forest resources have been increasing. At present, 60 to 70% of the annual growth is used. Also in the future it is of crucial importance to maintain our forest land base as forest and to ensure maintenance of forest resources.
Mrs Niemi highlighted the three pillars of sustainability in forest management: economic, ecological and social. Global, pan-European, EU and national regulatory and strategic tools form a framework to ensure wood procurement from sustainable sources. These are supplemented by third-party audited voluntary instruments. By using this tool box in a right way we can ensure joint production of wood and other forest ecosystem services at the same time and over generations.
Mrs Niemi ended her speech by emphasising that wood from sustainable sources can be used in a variety of ways. The wood-based industry is already a benchmark model of resource efficiency, a key player in bio-economy and a perfect fit for the circular economy. The continuous development of value added products will further contribute to shared value creation and substitution of non-renewable materials and energy. Consumers, i.e. all of us, play an important role by choosing products made from renewable instead of non-renewable materials.
Throughout the dinner the evening before and during the meeting there were very active discussions. The engagement of the participants, especially the MEPs, is a great encouragement to the sector.
Mrs Noichl closed the session with thanks to all involved and looked forward to the next meeting (tentatively fixed for 9th & 10th November 2016).