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Nordic PMs stress critical role of forests and forest industry

Nordic PMs stress critical role of forests and forest industry
Finnish PM Petteri Orpo (left), and Swedish PM Ulf Kristersson (photos courtesy Finnish Government Communications Department and Ninni Andersson/Government Offices of Sweden).

Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson have sent a joint letter to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stressing the great importance of forests and the forest industry for all of Europe and its work to combat climate change.

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In their joint letter toEuropean Commission President von der Leyen, dated October 4, 2023, the Nordic PMs highlight the significance of forests for climate and the environment and their role in providing raw materials, absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), and creating healthy soil.

The Prime Ministers express their view that these vital functions of forests are best preserved through national practices and know-how.

In the letter, the PMs also noted the challenges posed by newly negotiated EU legislation on energy, climate, and the environment for their countries’ forests and forestry.

In the current situation, it is important to focus on the implementation of legislation and on analyzing its overall impact on forests.

Forestry part of the green transition

The PMs point out that as part of the bioeconomy, forestry is an integral part of the EU’s green transition policy. It also supports the EU’s objective of strengthening its long-term competitiveness.

The growing demand for sustainable products and the developing potential of wood-based products create a vast opportunity for a highly competitive European industry.

The Prime Ministers stress the key role of clear, coherent, and predictable regulation in this work.

EU policy should underpin such development and create an enabling environment for forestry in the EU, aiming at removing all unnecessary market barriers and creating positive incentives. Also here, better regulation is key. To speed up the decarbonization of European industry, our approach should be technology-neutral and excellence-based, the joint letter stated.

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