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UNECE Timber Committee Discusses Wood Energy and Carbon Markets

19 October 2010: The Timber Committee of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) met on 11-12 October 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland, to review the latest international developments affecting the forest sector.

During the annual market discussions, experts discussed wood energy and carbon markets, forecasting an upturn in wood and paper products markets (consumption, production and trade) in 2010 and 2011 for the UNECE region. Emphasis was placed, among other things, on the escalation of wood energy in 2009, which represented a major exception to the downturn in timber markets, due to governments' policies favoring renewable energy sources. It was also noted that incentives promoting biomass can lead to market distortions by giving preference to wood for energy rather than as an industrial raw material.

Attention was also drawn to carbon markets, pointing to expectations that the Cancun Climate Change Conference to be held in late 2010 will be crucial for a wider inclusion of forest carbon in climate change mitigation measures. REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) was considered to have the potential to become the overarching platform for forest carbon issues. [UNECE Press Release] [Meeting Documents]