Vice-President of the European Commission Olli Rehn: Wood construction meets the climate challenge for Europe

Vice-President of the European Commission Olli Rehn: Wood construction meets the climate challenge for Europe

In the opinion of Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the European Commission and member of the Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, wood construction meets Europe’s greatest challenges of the future, such as reducing emissions from construction and promoting the efficiency of resources. - Although the construction industry is not subject to emissions trading, the promotion of wood construction can have significant effects in terms of reducing emissions, says Rehn. As new opportunities presented by wood construction, Rehn mentions the global reduction in CO2 emissions, promotion of the use of sustainable and natural materials and increasing the efficiency of resources in construction. - Promoting wood construction could have a significant impact, as the use of wood materials absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, says Rehn.

In the opinion of Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the European Commission and member of the Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, wood construction meets Europe’s greatest challenges of the future, such as reducing emissions from construction and promoting the efficiency of resources. - Although the construction industry is not subject to emissions trading, the promotion of wood construction can have significant effects in terms of reducing emissions, says Rehn.

As new opportunities presented by wood construction, Rehn mentions the global reduction in CO2 emissions, promotion of the use of sustainable and natural materials and increasing the efficiency of resources in construction. - Promoting wood construction could have a significant impact, as the use of wood materials absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, says Rehn.

Rehn thinks that wood is a sustainable, ecological and recyclable materials that for centuries has served as a main raw material in construction, and re-awakening this tradition is important. The difference between wood and steel and concrete is considerable when comparing the amounts of energy and emissions involved in their production.

 - Wood construction and the use of wood for energy combined with sustainable forest management and the productive cultivation of forests form a positive circle that helps us to win the battle against climate change, explains Rehn. In development work, wood construction is visible as part of the cleantech field and its development.

Rehn says that the aim of climate and energy policy is to achieve the targets set for stopping climate change by means that promote European competitiveness and a strengthening economy.

The economic opportunities of resource efficiency

Alongside climate change, another megatrend that Rehn mentions is resource efficiency, for the promotion of which the EU Commission has established the Resource Efficiency Programme whose aim is to decide on resource efficiency indicators and objectives by the end of this year.

- I myself see great economic potential in this programme. The set objectives are important as companies that must cope with a future lacking in resources need clear guidelines for action, if they are to be able to make well-grounded investment decisions, says Rehn.

In Rehn’s opinion, the long-term future prospects needed for economic growth must be separated from the use raw materials. - Wood is a multipurpose material that recycles carbon dioxide, and is thus a perfect example of a resource-efficient solution. Wood construction can be an important element of economic change as part of the development of the whole bio-economy.

Rehn thinks that, in order to promote new business and jobs, the EU should support research work and innovation, as well as encouraging entrepreneurship and investment. - Wood construction is exactly the form of industry that can give the economy new innovative solutions, companies and jobs in sustainable development. We should also look outside our own borders to find new opportunities for growth such as in the USA and emerging economies.