France, Gabon and Canada, in close liaison with the Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership (FCLP) and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), have launched the creation of an intergovernmental coalition on wood and bio-based materials in construction.

Nine countries have decided to join this coalition: Cambodia, Côte d'Ivoire, Republic of Congo, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia, France, Gabon, Canada.

This international cooperation aims to strengthen the appropriate use of wood and bio-based materials in construction and to mitigate the risk of under-use, misuse or over-use.

These practices help make of sustainable forest management a solution to climate challenges while providing social, environmental and economic opportunities for communities. When forests are harvested sustainably, some carbon is released and some is stored in wood products. In addition to storing carbon in forest ecosystems and wood-based products, the use of wood and bio-based materials to replace carbon-intensive materials (such as cement) and fossil fuels has a beneficial impact; the building sector is an area where increased use of fuelwood from sustainably managed forests contributes to climate solutions.

Since the One Forest Summit in March 2023, governments have been invited to participate in the coalition's pre-configuration working group to clarify its organization and develop its priority action plan by COP28.

37% of CO2 emissions
This is the building sector's share of global emissions.

However, the built surface is expected to double by 2050. The surface of Paris is built every 5 days, or that of Japan every year, mainly in the South.

Building wood can store carbon over a long period of time and avoid the use of materials that are more intensive in GHG emissions. If 1 m3 of wood stores 700 kg of CO2, Cross Laminated Timber stores about 460 kg of CO2/m3, and replaces, for example, reinforced concrete whose carbon content is 471 kg/m3.
The objectives of the coalition are therefore to respond to a strong interest for the climate to develop the use of wood and bio-based materials for construction, by addressing the following issues:
  • The production and use of timber is limited and unevenly distributed across regions. About 30% of the world's forests are used to produce wood and other products.
  • Technical and insurance regulatory frameworks, as well as standards, need to be adapted.
  • In many countries, the sector remains underdeveloped relative to its potential.
  • Forest governance is often inadequate. Yet strong forest governance is an essential foundation for policies that support productive forests and their associated products and markets to achieve the 2030 goal of halting and reversing forest loss.
  • In many parts of the world, forests are not managed sustainably. Globally, forest area has been reduced by 4.7 million hectares per year during the 2010-2020 period.