What is climate change?

Climate change is a change in the usual weather found in a place such as the amount of rain it gets in a year or a change in temperature for a month or season. For example, warming of Earth's climate has caused snow and ice to melt, oceans to rise and some plants to grow at different points in the year.

Forestry's role in climate change

To help reduce the effects of climate change, forestry has a significant role to play by:

  • locking up carbon in growing trees and creating more woodlands
  • supporting the use of wood fuel and renewable energy as a substitute to fossil fuels
  • promoting the use of wood in place of more carbon-intensive materials
  • promoting sustainable forest management

Woodland creation and management 

There are a wide range of options for woodland creation and woodland management and in the right circumstances, all woodland types and options can help reduce the effects of climate change.

Slower growing broadleaves can collect high carbon reserves within the woodlands themselves over the longer term. Faster growing conifers can sequester more quickly in the medium to long term and also produce wood products that substitute for high greenhouse gas emitting materials and fossil fuels in the longer term. They support Scotland’s economy, green recovery and job creation. Home grown timber also ensures we reduce offshoring of our wood production to natural forests. 

Sustainable timber harvesting

When timber is harvested with consideration for future impacts, we responsibly produce a valuable resource and preserve forests for future generations. Planting cycles can be planned to maximise CO2 absorption and promote biodiversity.

Most of the houses in Scotland are made of timber, but you may not immediately identify this because timber makes up the frame and internal structures of the house. Timber structures can be erected quickly, can help reduce the energy costs of a house and have better environmental credentials than most other construction materials.

Climate Change Week (13 to 19 September 2021)

Scotland’s Climate Week is an annual event to help raise awareness of the global climate emergency and celebrate Scotland’s leadership in taking action against climate change.

Scotland’s forests and woodlands are making a significant contribution towards tackling climate through a number of ways...

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