Timber is building material of the 21st century

13 April, 2014

Forest science deniers in Australia continue to be debunked by the weight of global science and research that demonstrates the real value of a strong forest and forest products industry.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, said the latest study to reinforce the overwhelming values of the forestry industry shows again thattimber should be embraced as the building material of the 21st Century.

Senator Colbeck welcomed the study by Yale University and the University of Washington which found wood-based construction consumes less energy than concrete or steel and has benefits for carbon storage.

"The study found that using wood products for construction consumes less energy than steel or concrete and could save between 14% and 31% of global CO2 emissions," Senator Colbeck said.

"The report also found that burning scrap wood for energy would save about 12% to 19% of annual global fossil fuel consumption."

Senator Colbeck said a sustainably managed forest will store more CO2 than one that is left static when you recognise that carbon is stored in forest products.

"This study reinforces previous work by Australian forest scientists that found native forests provide the greatest ongoing greenhouse gas benefits when they are managed for production, with carbon storage in forest products and product substitution benefits critical to the outcome," he said.

Senator Colbeck said Australia's forest and forest products industries have a key role in managing and storing CO2.

"Timber will increasingly be demanded for the construction of buildings and bridges due to its proven environmental benefits," he said.

"It is time for the anti-forestry brigade to accept that Australia's forest management practices are among the best in the world and forestry is a sustainable and renewable industry."

"Instead of repeating the misinformation and myths that they have been trying perpetuate about the forest industry, they should acknowledge the clear weight of global science."
"Using timber for construction is a win-win situation for the environment, for the industry and for our communities."

The Coalition has a clear plan to promote the growth of the Australian forestry industry.

(1) http://news.yale.edu/2014/03/31/using-more-wood-construction-can-slash-global-reliance-fossil-fuels

(2) Greenhouse gas balance of native forests in New South Wales, Australia. http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/3/3/653

130414 Timber is building material of 21st century
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