22
Sep

There is no way around building with wood

     

Mass timber has not yet been able to establish itself as a Carbon Capture & Storage technology in the international Negative Emission Technologies (NET) community. This is understandable as industrial, multi-storey timber construction is still – with the exception of Switzerland – mostly in its infancy. As a result, the climate communities’ efforts have largely been concentrated on deforestation and afforestation projects.

With the growing community of Net Zero declarations, various stakeholders have changed the dialogue and created a market for new CDR technologies such as Timber as a Carbon Capture and Storage technology (TCCS).

The significance of the construction industry in the climate debate – and the important role timber can play in this –, is well acknowledged and researched: In the IOP research letter on Cities as carbon sinks.[1] we read the following: “….European decision-makers need a gradual plan of switching to wooden buildings…” International communities now need simple and scalable tools to incentivize builders, architects, planners, and institutions to use more wood

This is where Timber Finance Initiative steps in: Thanks to our Swiss headquarters we are surrounded by leading engineers in one of the world’s most advanced timber building markets.  Our aim is to become a center of excellence and to be the first point of contact for institutional investors when it comes to Timber investments and Timber Carbon Capture & Storage solutions. We strongly believe that the timber industry is on the verge of significant growth, and this growth will permanently change the face of the construction industry and make it inherently greener and more sustainable.

Clearly, the market is ready for true impact investments with “sustainable investing still realizing double-digit growth in Switzerland”.[2]

The TFI team is currently developing a scientific methodology for a high-quality “Timber Carbon Capture & Storage certificate” (TCCS). Our final methodology will be complementing conventional negative emission technologies of the CCS family such as DACCS, BECCS or PyCCS.

Leading business houses such as The Economist have identified long-term stored CO2 in timber construction as one of the most economical and scalable CDR solutions. The Economist Intelligence Unit writes in “Investing in carbon removal” the following: “Fortunately, there exist a number of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) solutions. With efforts to decarbonize the global economy falling short, these solutions will play an increasingly critical role in planning to meet the warming targets agreed to in the Paris Agreement.[3]

[1] Environmental Research Letters; Ali Amiri, Juudit Ottelin, Jaana Sorvar, Seppo Junnila. Cities as carbon sinks – classification of wooden buildings. IOPscience, 28.08.2020. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aba134

[2]Swiss Sustainable Finance, Press Release, 7.6.2021, Zürich. https://www.sustainablefinance.ch/upload/cms/user/2021_06_07_SSF_Media_Release_Swiss_Sustainable_Investment_Market_Study_2021_english_final.pdf

[3] The Economist Intelligence Unit: Investing in carbon removal: Demystifying existing approaches Benchmark methodology report. https://carbonremoval.economist.com/

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