Tribune. A study by the Joint Research Center (JRC) published on 1is July by Nature highlights that the member states of the European Union (EU) have started to exploit forests with redoubled enthusiasm since 2016. Other scientists question his conclusions but, even if it were true, would it be necessarily a concern for our environment?
Wood combines, thanks to the genius of trees, the qualities of the most efficient modern materials. For over a million years, man has put all his ingenuity into mastering and making the most of this material for his own use. Despite a certain neglect for several decades, recent technological progress has made it possible to use wood ever better, for the sake of ecodesign and sobriety as well as technological and economic efficiency.
The extraction and combustion of petroleum products have put a large amount of carbon in the atmosphere in gaseous form, which contributes to the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. To counter this imbalance, only plants can restore this carbon in solid form.
Using wood does not contribute to global warming
Harvesting trees to use their wood helps store carbon sustainably. If the wood is not harvested and remains in the forest, at the end of its life the tree dies and decomposes by releasing its carbon into the air. Thus, a mature forest captures only a little carbon.
On the contrary, the use of wood frees up space for young trees which stimulate storage in the forest while keeping carbon in solid form in the wood, for a few months for a crate or a few decades in the building. .
Using wood does not contribute to global warming. Unlike cement, which is produced by releasing the carbon stored in the limestone rock and whose production alone contributes 6% of CO emissions2, the use of wood does not remove carbon. In addition, if we compare the manufacturing and installation processes, the use of wood generates half the CO2 than concrete, ten times less than cement and twenty times less than steel. Substituting wood whenever possible is good for the climate.
The use of wood does not draw on a finished stock but participates in an infinite cycle. Provided that the forest is managed sustainably, that is to say by reinvesting at each harvest to renew cut trees and to maintain and restore all disturbed services – carbon and wood stock, biodiversity, soil quality, landscape value … We must of course combat the bad silvicultural practices which threaten these services, such as excessive clear cutting.
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