PEFC’s statement on COP26: World leaders to recognise importance of forest certification

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In a statement by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the organisation has called on world leaders in COP26 to recognise how forest and forest products can help mitigate climate change and achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, such as limiting global temperature rises to 1.5°C. The COP26 meeting in Glasgow ended earlier in 12 Nov 2021, with new goals and actions set out to combat climate change.

PEFC’s statement also mentioned that according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land, forests have an important role in providing renewable resources that can replace fossil fuel intensive materials. The report goes on to highlight how sustainable forest management is key to maintaining “forest carbon stocks” and “carbon sinks”, as well as for harvesting wood products which can “store carbon over the long-term and can substitute for emissions-intensive materials reducing emissions in other sectors”.

PEFC hence emphasised their own pivotal role in certifying sustainable forests and forest management. “PEFC, as the world’s leading forest certification system, is therefore an important part in the toolbox needed to fight climate change, by promoting the sustainable management of the world’s forests and the use of wood products as a renewable raw material,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

PEFC’s objective is to increase forests’ capacity to address societal challenges, such as climate change, effectively and adaptively, while simultaneously promoting the use of sustainably sourced wood products, which can help the world to substantially accelerate the transition to low-carbon economies.

Gunneberg further stressed: “Nature-based solutions such as those provided by sustainable forest management are powerful allies in addressing societal challenges like climate change, delivering benefits for both the environment and human well-being.”

“COP26 must recognise the vital role of forests and forest products in climate change mitigation and adaptation to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement, including limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Leaders must also recognise the crucial contribution that non-state actors such as PEFC are already providing in ensuring their sustainable management.”