This paper presents a futures study of international forest trends. The study, produced as part of the Swedish Future Forest program, focuses on global changes of importance for future Swedish forest use. It is based on previous international research, policy documents, and 24 interviews with selected key experts and/or actors related to the forest sector, and its findings will provide a basis for future research priorities. The forest sector, here defined as the economic, social, and cultural contributions to life and human welfare derived from forest and forest-based activities, faces major change. Four areas stand out as particularly important: changing energy systems, emerging international climate policies, changing governance systems, and shifting global land use systems. We argue that global developments are, and will be, important for future Swedish forest use. The forest sector is in transition and forest-, energy, climate- and global land use issues are likely to become increasingly intertwined. Therefore, the “forest sector” must be disembedded and approached as an open system in interplay with other systems.