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Talking Timber at COP24

At the end of last year the Nordic Wood in Construction Secretariat was in Katowice, Poland for the UN’s COP24 meeting. Here are our highlights…

In December, we were on the ground in Katowice for COP24, as thousands of leaders, policymakers, industry experts, NGOs, academics and investors came together to negotiate and agree on the rulebook behind the Paris Agreement.

In cooperation with our partners at the Nordic Council of Ministers, we held a side event on the Nordic Pavilion to put wood in construction on the agenda and demonstrate Nordic Solutions to an international audience.

The session started with a presentation of the work we’ve been doing on the impact of wood in construction on the UN’s sustainable development goals. There are a huge number of synergies between the SDGs and wood in construction, but also some risks that we need to watch out for. Watch this space for a full summary of those findings coming soon..

For the next part of the session, we brought together industry experts and government representatives for a panel discussion on what’s needed to advance wood in construction in the Nordics.

Alf Karlsson and Elias Hurmekoski from the Swedish and Finnish governments outlined how wood fits into their strategies to decarbonise the construction industry. Whilst they acknowledged that its and industry that can be resistant to change, the policymakers made clear that embracing wood in construction can strengthen the forestry sector, and accelerate climate mitigation in the Nordics.

“Every minute, the forests of Finland grow the amount of wood needed to construct one building.”

- Elias Hurmekoski - Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry


Sharing lessons from across the Atlantic in Canada, Karin Simonson from the Canadian Forest Service explained how public sector intervention has helped the private sector to innovate and invest in wood in construction. Roy Antink from Stora Enso provided some perspectives from industry, adding nuance to the debate and describing how technical challenges such as developing more sustaiunable glues are being tackled head on.

 We were happy to hear wood in construction on plenty of delegates' lips as we wandered the hallways of COP between meetings, who couldn't avoid the Polish host's huge exhibition on how building in wood is helping them to meet their climate goals!




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The Nordic Wood in Construction Secretariat is hosted by EIT Climate-KIC

The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.