Commission promises support for paper, wood industries

A plan to address the challenges facing the EU’s forest-based industries was issued by the European Commission on 27 February.1

The strategy applies to the pulp, paper, board, sawmill and wood panel sectors. It tackles emissions, trade, innovation, product information and raw materials. It says separate collection systems and markets for recycled paper and wood should be improved.

To increase the recovery of wood products, the Commission will launch a study to identify ways to improve collection.

Its advisory committee will also host a roundtable with importers and retailers of forest products to develop ways to exclude the trade and use of illegally logged timber in line with FLEGT, the Commission’s action plan for forest law enforcement, governance and trade (ENDS Report 384, p 46 ).

The Commission promises to "explore" the inclusion of carbon storage in harvested wood goods as "a supplementary element in the international negotiations regarding climate change policies beyond 2012". The meeting in Bali in saw a realisation of how forests can help reduce CO2 emissions (ENDS Report 395, pp 4-5 ).

The Commission will also assess if forest-based sectors should qualify for preferential treatment under phase 3 of the EUETS and receive free allowances.