The Sir David Read report ‘Combating Climate Change – a role for UK forests’ can be read here. It states: “Woodlands planted since 1990, coupled to an enhanced woodland creations programme of 23 200ha per year (14,840ha additional to the 8360ha per year assume in business as usual projections) over the next 40 years, could, by 2050, be delivering, on an annual basis, emissions abatement equivalent to 10% of GHG emissions at that time. Such a programme would represent a 4% change in land cover and would bring UK forest area to 16% which would still be well below the European average.”
The key findings are:
- A clear need for more woodlands
- An asset to be managed wisely
- The status quo is not an option
- Harvesting and use of wood increases forestry’s mitigation potential
- Trees help people adapt
The report stresses, that while gaps for further research have been identified, of equal importance is communicating the findings to decision-makers, to enable trees, woodlands and forestry to be placed at the heart of climate change policy.