In the forestry sector, we’re looking for the new UK Government to tackle its utter failure to drive up tree planting in England and smash the ‘business as usual’ approach to building homes which sees high-carbon materials like brick, steel and concrete preferred to wood, which locks up carbon and requires little energy to produce. We also need the next UK Government to support management of neglected woodland to let in light to support greater biodiversity and stimulate tree growth, to lock up more carbon. For this election, Confor wants the parties to commit to plant 30,000 hectares annually (about 60 million trees) by 2025. At the time of writing, both the Conservatives and Lib Dems have accepted this, with Labour still to declare its position. The Lib Dems also highlight the need to produce more home-grown wood, which will lock up carbon and help displace more energy-intensive materials. When speaking to UK politicians, we need to cite the success of Scotland which comfortably surpassed its 10,000 hectares target last year, achieving 11,200 hectares. Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing, has supported Confor’s 2030 ambition and we would now like to see this adopted by the Scottish Government.
Scotsman 21st Nov 2019 read more »