At the parliamentary meeting during the summer session Christian Körner from the Botanical Institute of the University of Basel presented facts about the CO2 binding capacity of the biosphere and compared it with the current anthropogenic emissions. Peter Hofer from GEO Partner AG Zürich then discussed the potential and the opportunities for the Swiss forestry and wood related industry.
The key messages in brief: About half of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions remain in the atmosphere resulting in a CO2 increase of one percent every two years. Plants store about the same amount of CO2 as is stored in the Atmosphere, 90% of which is stored in the forest. Global forestation projects can delay CO2 increase by maximally 5 years. To store the Swiss emissions the whole forestable space in Switzerland would be forested in 13 years. The CO2 storage capacity of fast growing plants is smaller than that of old forest. Plant growth rate has nothing to do with Carbon stock in plants. The greenhouse gas problem can thus not be solved in this matter, but an efficient usage of wood is an important step forward. Wood and wood processing is environmentally sound, sustainable and generates labor in Switzerland.
Nearly twenty parlamentariens participated at the meeting and the informal discussion, which was chaired by G.-R. Plattner.