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A tool to combat climate change? Think wood.

woodWood. And more specifically, what we do with it, can both mitigate climate change and support the economy, according to a new study by the University of Eastern Finland.

Research shows we can enhance the climate change mitigation effect when we create long-lived wood products and replace other materials that require a lot of energy to produce.

At the same time, the essential products and services generated by forests and forest-based industries provide socio-economic benefits for society and fuel a green economy.

Specifically, the study points out how forests “produce natural products but also [offer] alternatives to fiber and plastic industries such as packaging materials.”

Researchers examined the life cycle of wood used for products in Lithuania and the Czech Republic, from seedling to sawmill. The outcome of their study finds that current ideas about carbon storage hugely underestimates the carbon locked away with wood products.

The study concludes that further research into the benefits of long-lived wood products could prove beneficial for countries committed to reducing levels of their atmospheric emissions as per the Paris Climate Agreement.