The Charter for Wood 2.0 – Climate protection, value creation and resource efficiency.

13. March 2019

The German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, puts it in a nutshell: hardly any other raw material is as versatile as wood! In the wake of climate change, the German government drew up the Climate Protection Plan 2050 in November 2016. Within this, the Charter for Wood 2.0 is considered a milestone for meeting climate protection targets. In this article, we provide an overview of what the Charter covers.

Table of contents

The goals of the Charter for Wood 2.0

Broadly speaking, the Charter aims to fulfil three primary objectives:

  • Protect the climate:
    Sustainable forest management and wood use should strengthen the climate protection contribution of the forestry and timber industry. Wood and forests are considered carbon reservoirs, and wood replaces fossil fuels such as oil, gas or coal. 
  • Creating value:
    The competitiveness and value creation of forestry and timber industries should be maintained and further strengthened. Preserving important forest functions such as soil protection, water regulation, climate protection, nature conservation, and recreation has top priority.
  • Resource efficiency:
    Through the use of wood from sustainably and responsibly used forests, finite and fossil raw materials are to be conserved and replaced.

Why does the Charter for Wood 2.0 exist?

Our world population is growing and growing. By 2050, our planet is expected to be home to around 10 billion people – 2.5 billion more than at present. In short, this means that demand for housing, food and energy will increase even more. But our use of resources already far exceeds the earth’s regenerative capacity. Providing a dignified and comfortable life for all people is thus becoming a huge challenge.

Agenda for Sustainable Development

The global community wants to take up this challenge together. In September 2015, the United Nations community of states adopted an Agenda for Sustainable Development with the following goals:

  • The resources of raw materials, energy and land, must be used more sparingly and efficiently.
  • Growth and prosperity must not be based on the use of finite resources.
  • We need to shape a society based on renewable energies.
  • New concepts are needed that guarantee a steady and secure supply of raw materials and energy through sustainably produced biomass.

Paris climate protection agreement

IIn December 2015, the international community adopted the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a further plan of action to counteract climate change. By the year 2100, global warming should only increase by 2°C, and by no means more. The participating countries committed themselves to adhere to this upper limit by pursuing national climate protection plans.

In the course of this, the German government adopted measures in November 2016 that should lead to the achievement of the climate protection goals – including the Charter for Wood 2.0 because there is still time to act. So if not now, when?

Charter for Wood 2004 vs Charter for Wood 2.0

Back in 2004, there was a Charter for Wood whose goals could even be achieved before the deadline: the aim was to increase Germany’s wood consumption per inhabitant by 20 % within a period of ten years. The target of the previous version was derived from insufficient demand for wood. With the Charter for Wood 2.0, the focus is now on strengthening sustainable and efficient wood use (keyword “circular economy”), climate protection and value creation, especially in rural areas. With the new goals and measures of the Charter for Wood 2.0, the German government wants to strengthen the contribution of sustainable wood use to meeting the climate protection goals that have been set.

Conclusion: Only together can we reach the goal

However, the implementation of the Charter for Wood 2.0 can only work by joining forces. Klöckner describes the Charter for Wood 2.0 as a “dialogue process”: this is not only a technical exchange between experts from practice as well as science, research and administration. Instead, very different interest groups are to be brought into the discussion and, above all, citizens are to be included. After all, climate-conscious behaviour on the part of consumers makes a significant contribution to meeting climate protection goals. A change in thinking is called for. In order to convey to the population how wood can be used intelligently and that attention must also be paid to sustainable forest management, it is also necessary to provide them with sufficient information on the subject and educate them. We, eibe, are, of course, also involved and make our contribution by, among other things, only using wood with FSC® certification from sustainable forestry for our playground equipment and facilities.

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