Belgium's climate ambassador for Al Gore to join forum in Hamburg, Germany, to discuss viability of sourcing extra 320 million m3/year of wood needed to meet EU's CO2 emissions, renewable energy targets

BRUSSELS , November 21, 2012 (press release) – The EU dilemma of storing or releasing 104 million tons of CO2
EU RES policy endangers wood availability as raw material

You are cordially invited to:
Presentation of the findings of the report on “Wood Flows” by the Forestry Center of the University of Hamburg
Wednesday, 5 December 2012 from 15h30 to 17h00 at the European Parliament (Room A5F 385)

Introduction by the Hon. Gaston Franco, MEP, President of the Club du Bois

Presentations by:

  • Prof. Udo Mantau, Head of the Forestry Center of the University of Hamburg
  • Serge De Gheldere, Belgium Climate Ambassador for Al Gore, CEO of Futureproofed
Over 825 million cubic meters of wood are used in the EU - 27 every year. If the EU Members are to implement their national renewable energy action plans (engaging to get 20% of their energy consumption from renewables by 2020) as submitted, we will need about 320 million cubic meters more per year than what we have now. But where will this wood come from? Is this really reducing emissions or only changing the source of emissions?

Following on an earlier study “Real potential for changes in growth and use of EU forests, EU wood” (Mantau et al.), Professor Udo Mantau, head of the Forestry Center of the University of Hamburg, will present his new findings while trying to answer the question of how much wood as a raw material is really available, and offering possible solutions to the predictable outlook.

This query gained complexity with the realization of the additional future demands for wood, and policy makers need to take notice before it is too late. “As is the case for any other raw material, there is natural wood scarcity”, says Professor Mantau, “but the global market for wood is more complex because –unlike oil or copper- it is part of our everyday lives, it is linked not only to economics but also to traditions, aesthetics and climate change”. In addition, manufactured wood products keep storing CO2 just like the trees, up until the end of their life, sometimes centuries long. “Each year, says Mantau, harvested wood products in the EU store no less than 104 million tonnes of CO2, 75% of the products have a long life”.

“Governments and citizens should enhance the use of raw material in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Wood from sustainable managed forests plays a prominent role in achieving the CO2 reduction. When we use wood for buildings, furniture and insulation we are taking a big step towards our ideal future”, says Serge De Gheldere. As a Climate Ambassador for Al Gore, De Gheldere is a Design Engineer, also the founder and CEO of Futureproofed ( He will discuss the findings of Dr. Mantau’s study from the point of view of efficiency and sustainability.

The speakers will take questions after the presentations. Participants are invited afterward to view the exhibition “Tackle Climate Change: Use Wood, Plant a Second Forest”, displaying art work in wood from top EU artists, located at the 3rd floor of the Altiero Spinelli building (see for more details).

This event is organized with the European woodworking industry represented by CEI-Bois (European Confederation of the Woodworking Industries), EPF (European Panel Federation) and EOS (European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry).

To register (not later than Friday 30 November), please reply to this message after having filled the data below and send back to If you need help to get access to the European Parliament also fill in the section regarding your ID.

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