Using wood to substitute fossil-based products – an interview with Daniel Zimmer

The first series of EIT Climate-KIC podcast How Could We? focuses on land use, sustainable forestry and the dilemma of using trees for timber. 

Forests are an essential ally in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss. They function as carbon sinks and help reduce the impacts of climate change. Unfortunately, forests suffer from many different pressures, including climate change and inactive forest management.  With the current climate and cost-of-living crisis, it is more important than ever to take care of our public lands and use the tools available to help adapt to changing conditions.

But there is an inherent issue: by using trees to create forest products, aren’t we contributing further to the climate breakdown?

To answer this difficult question, we interviewed Daniel Zimmer, Director Sustainable Land Use at EIT Climate-KIC. Daniel works on the Climate Smart Forest Economy Programme, a collaborative initiative from EIT Climate-KIC, the World Economic Forum, and the World Resources Institute. The programme looks at how to use wood and other forest products to substitute fossil fuel-based products – while at the same time preserve forests’ carbon sink function, protect biodiversity and support the creation of jobs.

Listen to the second episode with Syakaa William about the opportunities and challenges of building a sustainable mass timber market in East Africa and to the third episode with Tena Petrovic about a Berlin-based project that aims to develop Europe’s first ‘Forest-to-City’ value chain for affordable housing 

Subscribe to the podcast for more upcoming episodes on sustainable forestry and get in touch about your worries and what you’re doing in your community to enact change – email us at

This episode was produced by Bárbara Mendes-Jorge.