In 2007 the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced its latest report setting out the state of knowledge on climate change. The report provides authoritative evidence of how planting and managing woodland, avoiding deforestation, and replacing fossils fuels and carbon-intensive products with wood can make a major contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change. The report also examines the impacts of climate change on forests, and the importance of adaptation of ecosystems to make them more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
However, the IPCC report was global in scope and there is now a need to bring together this information at a UK level – to assess what it means for our forests and woodlands and to identify the gaps in our knowledge. The Forestry Commission has commissioned an independent report to assess the ways in which trees and forests can help us tackle climate change. It will provide an up-to-date assessment of the contribution that forests and woodlands can make in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Objectives of the assessment
The study will lead to a better understanding of how forestry in the UK can improve its contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Specific objectives are to:
- Review and synthesise our existing knowledge on the contribution of forests and woodlands.
- Provide a baseline and scenarios for mitigation and adaptation actions.
- Identify information gaps and weaknesses that will help determine research and analysis priorities for the next five years.