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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

Green Party politicians say it’s time to ‘Think Timber’


Minister Pippa Hackett’s Forestry Statements Outline Opportunities

Architect Francis Noel Duffy TD looks for regulatory blocks to be cleared

Eugene Hendrick of COFORD with Senator Pippa Hackett

Green Party politicians Pippa Hackett and Francis Noel Duffy have come together to urge the Forestry Industry, the construction industry, architects and regulatory bodies to come together and ‘Think Timber’.

As she launched a series of COFORD Statements which provide facts and science on the important role of forests and wood products in climate change mitigation, the Minister with responsibility for Forestry, Senator Pippa Hackett said:

There are clearly massive opportunities to significantly increase the quantity of timber used in houses and to consider building taller buildings using engineered wood products such as cross laminated timber. So I am calling on our architects and our builders to ‘think timber’. We are planning major increases in house-building. I believe we need to make sure our timber industry plays a big part in it.

Fellow Green politician Deputy Francis Noel Duffy spoke meanwhile of the steps which need to be addressed to allow that ambition be realised:

‘We export massive amounts of timber which is used in construction in other countries, but not here. That does not make sense, and as an architect myself I am very aware of the scope there is for us to build far more timber frame housing. I know it has not been our tradition but happily attitudes among construction professionals are changing. It is now time, I believe, for regulations to change and develop to enable the industry to more easily use timber’.

Minister Hackett continued:

Clearly these are opportunities that we need to grasp and explore further, and I look forward to speaking with my cabinet colleague Minister Darragh O Brien at the Department of Housing, Local Government about all the information contained in the COFORD statements, as they provide a basis for discussion and also complement measures outlined in the EU Green Deal and the new EU Forest Strategy.

The series of Statements is a new initiative of the Council and aims to connect science to policy. The COFORD Forests and Climate Working Group worked collaboratively to bring these statements to the Minister and make recommendations on policy. The COFORD Council’s role is to advise the Minister on key policy areas and these statements deliver on that mandate.


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