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Trees on commercial UK plantations ‘not helping climate crisis’

New reports about the Commercial tree plantations in Britain show that the carbon is not stored in them from the environment which reduces climate crisis because more than half of the harvested timber is used for less than 15 years and the remaining quarter is burnt. Analyzing the usage statistics of the UK’s timber harvest in the year 2018, 23% was used for wood fuel, while the remaining 56% was used by sawmills. Out of 56%, only 33% of the wood taken by sawmills was used for construction, where wood used in permanent buildings can lock in carbon for decades. Most of the sawmill wood was used for fencing (36%) or packaging and pallets (24%) or paper (4%).

To increase Britain’s forest cover from 13% to 19%, The Committee on Climate Change decided to grow 1.5 billion new trees by 2050 which will require plantation on 30,000 hectares of land per year. Thomas Lancaster, head of UK land policy at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said that -“There is no point growing a lot of fast-growing conifers with the logic that they sequester carbon quickly if they then go into a paper mill because all that carbon will be lost to the atmosphere within a few years,”.

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