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Forest Climate Fund

The purview of the Forest Climate Fund is to expand the potential impact of forests and timber use on climate change mitigation and to support the adaptation of our forests to climate change. This Fund is part of the programme associated with the Energy and Climate Fund. Since 2013, it has been operated under the joint responsibility of the Federal Ministries of Agriculture (BMEL) and the Environment (BMU) on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag.

Objectives of the Fund

The German forest sector and forest-based industries store carbon in forests and durable wood based products. They also avoid emissions through timber recycling and energy recovery.  They thus make an important contribution to protecting our climate. Forests and wood based products currently prevent the release of more than 127 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year into the atmosphere. The Forest Climate Fund is intended to maintain and increase this positive impact on the climate, and at the same time take the productive, protective and recreational functions of forests into account.

Adapting our forests to climate change is a precondition for achieving this aim. Due to the large woodland area – forests cover over one-third of Germany – and due to their great sensitivity to climate change and their long life cycles and production periods, we need to take swift and sustainable adaptation measures immediately.

BMEL and BMU therefore regard it as a necessity to promote measures aimed at tapping the potential of forests and timber for CO2 reduction, energy and substitution as well as measures aimed at adapting German forests to climate change. They are intended to help the German Government achieve its climate goals.

The measures are designed to take both ecological and economic aspects into consideration and to achieve the greatest possible benefit in terms of mitigating climate change and adapting forests to the consequences of climate change. Wherever possible, the intention is to harness synergies between climate change mitigation, the preservation of biodiversity and the adaptation of forests to climate change.

 Support measures

Measures are funded in the following priority areas:

  • adapting forests to climate change;
  • safeguarding carbon storage and increasing the CO2 sequestration of forests;
  • increasing storage in wood products and reduction/substitution of CO2 via wood products;
  • research and monitoring;
  • information and communication.

Since the launch of the Forest Climate Fund in 2013, around 198 projects have been approved with a total funding volume of around 65.61 million euros. The responsibility for delivering the project was transferred to the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR) on 1 January 2019.

Further information on the Forest Climate Fund and its key funding areas, plus details about the application procedure can be found on the joint website of the two Federal Ministries.

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