LEESBURG, VA. – The American Wood Council (AWC) has released a carbon policy platform that would help unlock the potential for wood products to be a low-carbon building material solution on a large scale in the United States.
“As our population increases and resources are constrained, we must find resilient, carbon-friendly, and sustainable solutions for the built environment,” said AWC President and CEO Jackson Morrill. “Wood products are an important part of the solution. When taken together, sustainably managed forests and the wood products harvested from them can be a carbon sink and a renewable resource. Simply substituting wood for other conventional building materials could provide almost a tenth of the global carbon emission reductions needed to meet 2030 goals.”
To achieve these low-carbon goals, AWC supports the following climate policies:
- Promoting Climate-Smart Green Procurement: Adopting climate-smart specifications for federal construction projects would leverage the massive purchasing power of the federal government to reduce the climate impacts of new federal building projects. It could also drive the adoption of such standards in state procurement programs and the private sector.
- Support a New Builder Tax Credit for Climate-Smart Buildings: There are well-established and successful precedents for using tax credits to drive down costs and stimulate demand for new climate-friendly technologies. The federal government should adopt a similar, performance-based approach to encourage use of natural climate solutions – such as mass timber and other structural wood products – across the private sector.
- Expand USDA’s Grant Programs for the Climate Potential of Wood Products: The federal government has recently increased funding for research and development activity to decarbonize industrial heat, including for cement and steel production. The U.S. Department of Agriculture should use its existing grant authority – and seek new authority and funding from Congress – for projects that will help spur investment in and use of traditional wood and mass timber products, which can have immediate impact on reducing carbon emissions in buildings and other infrastructure projects.
“AWC and its member companies stand ready to engage as partners and stakeholders in the development and implementation of these policies,” Morrill said.