The Future of Wood: A renewable resource overlooked in the search for sustainability?

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Posted by Fiona Rodgerson on 2021-12-20 Like

Wood is the most versatile renewable material on earth. As we transition away from fossil fuels to slow climate change, woods deserve a closer look. Have you ever heard of “black liquor”? It’s a paper pulp byproduct that makes, not cocktails, but a great carbon-neutral fuel! Given the potential for renewable timber products and byproducts, some scientists argue that wood could be key in creating a sustainable and circular, bioeconomy, free of fossil fuels. However, understanding the promise timber might hold can be tricky due to diverse markets and changing demands. At the same time, timber removal, if uncontrolled, increases deforestation and jeopardizes biodiversity. For example, much of wood production in Africa is linked to increased land clearing for agriculture. Ninety percent of this wood is used for fuel, which in turn has climate and health implications. Therefore, ensuring proper forest management and efficient use of wood products is essential. Foresight methods can support policies and plans for a sustainable future, but need to be integrated and participatory, including expert opinions and examining various scenarios. Learn more about wood’s potential and the foresight research that can make it happen in this brief!

Find “The Future of Wood – towards circular bioeconomy” brief here:

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