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UNECE, FAO Release Annual Market Review of Forest Products for 2011-2012

August 2012: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) released the “Forest Products Annual Market Review, 2011-2012,” which finds that wood energy constitutes the primary renewable energy source in the UNECE region, and discusses the role of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) mechanisms in carbon markets.

On wood energy, the report highlights predictions that wood energy consumption will increase in the near term, in part due to due to renewable energy mandates. It notes that policy discussions are ongoing on the environmental issues related to wood energy use, including those related to greenhouse gas (GHG) neutrality.

On REDD, the report highlights the growth of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) but notes the effect of global climate change negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on carbon markets and demand for REDD credits. It underscores that 11 afforestation/reforestation projects where approved under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which will offset 300,100 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The report also discusses changes in the regulatory environment over the past year, including new forest carbon accounting rules adopted at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, and emergence of green-building policies and green building credentialing systems, which favor sustainably harvest wood products. [UNECE Press Release] [Publication: Forest Products Annual Market Review, 2011-2012]