Forest sector roundtable seeks solutions to strengthen carbon sinks
News - Published 1.3.2023
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Maria Ohisalo and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Antti Kurvinen have convened a roundtable to discuss the role of the forest sector in climate policy. The roundtable for the forest sector will meet on Thursday 2 March.
The greenhouse gas inventory shows that in 2021 the land use sector as whole was for the first time a source of emissions instead of serving as a carbon sink. According to the Natural Resources Institute Finland, the main reasons for this include the slower growth of forests, increased felling and changes in the calculation method. The reduction in the sinks makes it more difficult to achieve the carbon neutrality target and it may also have significant impacts on central government finances.
The roundtable composed of stakeholders in the sector will discuss what can be done in forestry and forest industry to strengthen sinks in the land use sector and to reduce emissions. The topics to be discussed include excessive thinning operations, which have a significant impact on the long-term trend of the sinks.
“Besides carbon sinks and forest nature, excessive felling has led to a situation where even the sustainability of wood production is at risk. The future competitiveness and success of the forest sector depends on achieving a higher added value for wood and a sustainable level for the use of forests. In future, there will be growing global demand for sustainably produced wood products, including in the manufacture of textiles,” says Maria Ohisalo, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and chair of the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy.
“Restrictions on felling in Finnish forests have been suggested as a solution to the problem we have with sinks. In view of the climate challenge or sustainable development, this cannot be considered justified. Forests are being utilised to meet the global demand, and if felling of trees were reduced in Finland, this would at least in part increase felling in other countries. This would also have negative impacts on the opportunities to replace fossil energy and non-renewable raw materials with renewable ones. Instead of being a problem in terms of climate issues, there is good cause to see the land use sector as a solution. The package of climate measures related to it offers different stakeholders the opportunity to participate in the effort to respond to the climate challenge according to their own needs and capabilities. The sustainable use of forests has an important role in ensuring our self-sufficiency and security of supply as well,” Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Antti Kurvinen says.
Special Adviser to Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
tel. +358 50 414 1682
Special Adviser to Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
tel. +358 400 694 233
Ministry of the Environment
tel. +358 295 250 053
Head of Forests and Bioenergy Unit
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
tel. +358 29 516 2150
Read more about the situation with respect to carbon sinks (in Finnish)
Press release from Finland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Ministry of the Environment 1.3.2023