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Publié le
Lundi 28 Août 2023
The French forest provides wood used for producing heat, construction materials, packaging, and paper. Additionally, due to the annual carbon sequestration in the forest ecosystem inherent to tree growth, the forest plays a crucial role in mitigating climate change. Finally, it hosts a diverse and rich wildlife and flora, which are sometimes threatened by human activities.
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The use of harvested timber is a key factor in mitigation policies. Its use - and the use of its co-products - in long-lived wood products allow to store carbon. This use is preferable to energy use because burning wood leads to an immediate increase in atmospheric carbon, which is slowly compensated over time by new forest growth.

As a result, current public policies based on the assumption of fuel wood carbon neutrality and underestimating carbon storage in long-lived wood products do not provide the right incentive. It would be relevant to redirect fuel wood support towards the production of long-lived wood products. Moreover, the planning of the timber industry, from forestry to wood use and transformation, should consider not only the challenges of climate change adaptation and mitigation but also those related to energy independence and biodiversity. Balancing these different challenges is complex, and adjusted planning, considering the characteristics of each forest stand, including their biological richness and vulnerability to climate change, will be necessary.

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Hélène Arambourou
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Développement durable et numérique
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