Finland, EU disagree over safe level of forest consumption

Karoliina Niemi, the forest resource director of the Forest Industry Association, said that the market for wood-based products would grow by 200 billion euros (224 billion U.S. dollars) by 2030, and it remains to be seen how large a slice of the market Finland will be able to get.

The gap between Finnish industrial forest consumption goal and the European Union (EU) safety limit for maintaining the carbon sinks appeared to be much larger than expected, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported Tuesday.

Finland has assured the EU Commission that 83 million cubic meters of wood could be cut down annually without undermining the climate change targets. But earlier this year, EU experts asked Finland to specify the figures and give new estimates.

Sampo Soimakallio, one of the independent observers hired by the EU Commission, said the safe level would be 65 to 73 million, between 10 and 18 million less than estimated before.

Tuesday’s figures followed the admission of the Finnish Natural Resources Center (Luke), a government body close to the Finnish Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry, that it had a major error in its estimates.

There are several major biomass and pulp projects under way in Finland and the current consumption of around 72 million is not enough for the needs. Yle described the annual gap between the EU norm and the Finnish lowest hope as “200,000 truckloads of wood.”

Karoliina Niemi, the forest resource director of the Forest Industry Association, said that the market for wood-based products would grow by 200 billion euros (224 billion U.S. dollars) by 2030, and it remains to be seen how large a slice of the market Finland will be able to get.