The Forest Dialogue on Climate Positive Forest Products- Author of Background Paper

The Forests Dialogue (TFD) convened a virtual scoping dialogue on Climate Positive Forest Products (CPFP) on April 26th, 29th, and May 3rd, 2021. Using mass timber building materials as an entry point, the Initiative aims to build understanding and agreement amongst stakeholders around the opportunities, challenges, and knowledge gaps related to utilizing forest products as a climate change mitigation tool. The scoping dialogue was convened in partnership with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Climate Smart Forest Economy Program (CSFEP) that includes the World Economic Forum, Climate KIC, and The Nature Conservancy.

More than 60 leaders representing stakeholder groups including academia, construction, architecture, forest industry, NGO came together for the scoping dialogue. The objectives were to:

1) build a collective understanding of stakeholder perspectives and concerns, knowledge and research gaps, and priorities related to using ‘mass timber’ construction practices to mitigate climate change. Additionally, we sought to identify areas of disagreement and agreement, especially as these issues relate to forests.

2) Foster collaboration across stakeholders that care about the mass timber value chain, allowing forest owners, timber producers, policy makers, NGOs, and architects/developers to learn from one another and a synthesis of the current scientific knowledge on the topic.

3) Co-create an actionable plan that presents a path forward and will mobilize stakeholder networks.

I authored the background/scoping paper, which was intended to set the stage for where there was broad agreement and where there were fracture lines around four key questions (i) the current state of mass timber manufacturing and construction globally, (ii) state of knowledge regarding the climate impacts of substituting mass timber for conventional building materials and of storing carbon in mass timber materials, (iii) the state of knowledge of potential end-of-life climate impacts of mass timber utilization, and (iv) potential impacts on forest carbon stock and forest condition of increased demand for wood products from forest harvesting or displacement of wood from other industries.  The background paper, titled "Climate Benefits and Challenges Related to "Mass Timber" Construction, from frame to forests",  can be accessed here, Scoping Dialogue on Climate Positive Forest Products (CPFP) | The Forests Dialogue