Carbon Zero initiatives using Wood

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The reality of climate change is now recognised by governments across the globe. Governments worldwide are acting to restrict and sequester greenhouse gases.

Under the Paris Climate Agreement, New Zealand committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 50 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050, and 30 per cent below 2005 emission levels by 2030. The government also plans to introduce a Zero-Carbon Act. This would set the target of net-zero emissions by 2050. New Zealand’s per-person emissions are the fifth-highest in the OECD. It is estimated that moving early on climate change initiatives could save the country $30 billion (Westpac commissioned report, 2018).

According to the Productivity Commission 2018 report, the primary and most cost-effective means of sequestering carbon dioxide is through the growth and use of wood. Wood sequesters more than 800kg of CO2 per cubic metre.

In its 2021 report, the Climate Change Commission recommended encouraging construction based on low-emissions designs and practices. This will reduce building energy use and embodied emissions.

Steel and concrete both have high emissions profiles. Each is estimated to contribute approximately 5 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases. By contrast, the wood used in building locks away CO2.

As a result, central and local governments worldwide have begun adopting policies and legislation to support the growing of trees and the use of wood in construction.

New Zealand has adopted a 1 billion trees policy target, The current government is moving to implement low carbon requirements for government buildings that favour wood.

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