11 Oct 2023, 13:30
Carolina Kyllmann

Germany should act as global role model in timber construction – ministers

Clean Energy Wire

Germany must set a good example worldwide when it comes to construction with timber, agriculture minister Cem Özdemir said during the "Charter for Wood 2.0" dialogue on 10 October, a public event held jointly with the construction ministry (BMWSB). "We are the world's fourth largest economy: if we’re successful, we will act as role models, but if we don't succeed, then no one will go down that path either," Özdemir said. Germany's government recently announced its timber construction initiative aimed at reducing emissions from the construction of buildings. "What we're trying here in Germany is very important because there is an seemingly infinite volume of construction works worldwide," construction minister Klara Geywitz remarked, adding there is a strong trend towards urbanisation and the global population is on the rise. "If we continue constructing as we are – with the current CO2 output – then we will miss the climate targets we have agreed upon."

Timber is considered a particularly sustainable construction material as it sequesters CO2 throughout its lifetime. It is also a suitable material for serial and modular construction. Around seven percent of Germany’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from the construction sector, which has repeatedly missed its emission reduction targets in the past years. A large-scale transition to using wood for building construction in "timber cities" could avoid more than 100 billion tonnes of GHG emissions by the end of the century, a 2022 report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) found. "In the face of the climate crisis, we can't afford to do without wood," Özdemir said.

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