A newly formed group of MPs has urged the government to move more quickly to meet carbon reduction targets by scaling up the existing timber sector and employing modern methods of construction (MMC).
The call came following the inaugural meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries.
The APPG is urging policy-makers to adopt the recommendations laid out in the Net Zero Now campaign launched earlier this year by the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI), which acts as secretariat to the APPG.
The campaign claims that the focus on 2050 is a missed opportunity, when increasing the timber industries’ output could allow the government to deliver on its economic, employment, housing and climate targets immediately.
It argues that timber products have the lowest embodied carbon of any mainstream building material, while for every cubic metre of timber used in construction, 0.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide have been absorbed and will be stored for the lifetime of the product.
It also highlights that MMC allows homes to be built 30% faster using timber.
David Warburton, Conservative MP for Somerton and Frome, and chair of the APPG, said: “We will be taking a strong message to COP26 about the need to reduce carbon without delay – after all, why wait for the future when scaling-up the use of timber offers an easily-implemented solution that can deliver results now?
“Throughout COP26, we will be championing the policy recommendations of Net Zero Now, which include: increasing the use of wood in construction; adopting the CLC’s National Retrofit Strategy to improve existing housing stock; following the advice of the Hackitt Review to create higher-performing, safer buildings; bringing embodied carbon into the UK building regulations; providing tax incentives to encourage the use of MMC; and creating a preference for low-carbon sustainable construction in government procurement.”
The full list of APPG members to date includes: Tonia Antoniazzi, Labour MP for Gower; Andrew Bowie, Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine; Martyn Day, SNP MP for Falkirk; Karin Smyth, Labour MP for Bristol; and Kevin Brennan, Labour MP for Cardiff.