Professor Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber of the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany today delivered a powerful climate change message backing the use of more wood in the built environment.
Speaking to his theme – “Reforest the planet, retimber the cities” – Prof Schellnhuber stated: “We need to create an alternative carbon sink and wood construction is the perfect answer. We can turn the timber into construction material in the built environment, recycle most of the wood […] you have cascade utilisation and immediately replant the trees that you have taken away and even increase the forest area, then you have what I call the ‘Forestry-Construction Pump’.
Prof Schellnhuber is acknowledged as being the mastermind behind the Commission President’s initiative for a New European Bauhaus.
Mrs Ruth Reichstein of the European Commission made it clear that:
“The President of the European Commission has become a huge fan of building in wood and is delighted to see the New European Bauhaus conversation growing every day. It is a project of hope, a project of recovery. Within it, renovation can be as valuable and beautiful as new construction. With this in mind, let us turn our cities into urban forests.”
Reichstein is the pivotal European Commission official in charge of developing the New European Bauhaus, including liaising between the cabinet of President von der Leyen and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.
Brussels, 8 April 2021
The virtual wood4bauhaus conference brought together over 1,000 participants, including business, designers and civil society representatives and it showcased the aesthetic beauty and sustainability of wood as a key driver in construction and living for a carbon neutral society. A video of the entire conference and the complete programme, including a full list of the speakers, can be found here: wood4bauhaus.eu
The virtual conference was organised by the newly constituted Wood Sector Alliance for the New European Bauhaus which was formed in part as a response to the President’s call for wood to play a key role in transforming the built environment into a carbon sink. The Alliance has been accepted by the Commission as an active Partner of New European Bauhaus
The European Commission’s New European Bauhaus calls for a creative, interdisciplinary, novel movement embedded in the society to imagine together a sustainable future and to engage on a transformative path towards affordable and beautiful living spaces in the urban and rural environment. A key step is the transformation of the building sector into a circular model that can also counteract the escalating climate crisis.
The Wood4Bauhaus Alliance comprises the following founding partners:
InnovaWood is EU network for wood science, research, innovation and education of 60 organisations in 28 countries, including RTOs, universities, VET centres and cluster organisations.
The European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois) is an umbrella organisation of 21 European and national organisations from 15 countries backing the interests of the whole wood sector.
The European Panel Federation (EPF) represents 100,000 direct jobs and counts more than 5,000 wood-based panel manufacturing and furniture companies in 25 countries.
The European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) is the European Trade Union Federation grouping 76 national free trade unions from 34 countries with members in the building, building materials, woodworking, forestry and allied industries and trades.
The European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) represents 35,000 sawmills in 12 countries.
BASAJAUN and WoodCircus are R&D project consortia fostering sustainable wood supply chains from forest harvesting to final buildings and Circular Economy solutions in the sector. They have received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements no. 820892 and 862942.
© 2021 Wood Sector Alliance for the New European Bauhaus