The significant role forest, wood and paper product industries can play in achieving emissions reduction targets is seemingly missing from Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan.
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton said, “As expected Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan sets ambitious climate change targets. This comes as no surprise to us as forest industries have been involved in ongoing conversations with ALP policy makers. What does come as a surprise therefore is the silence thus far from the ALP regarding the huge carbon emission reductions that can be achieved by the forest industries of this country.”
Policy makers must recognise the significant carbon emission reduction opportunities forest industries can deliver, through:
- long-term carbon sequestration and storage that can be provided by the inclusion of commercial plantation forests (hardwood and softwood) in the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI);
- bioenergy, biofuels and biochemicals produced from biomass;
- renewable industrial heat included in the Renewable Energy Target; and
- the use of renewable, recyclable and low embodied carbon wood and paper products in energy efficiency, ‘green building’ and renewable programs.
Australia’s forest, wood and paper product industries generate more than $20 billion per year in turnover and employ some 120,000 people, mostly in regional areas.
“Embracing the role that forest industries can play in reducing carbon emissions is a win, win, win opportunity. A win for the environment. A win for bold emissions reduction targets. And a win for forestry towns and communities crying out for more resource and industry to grow regional jobs.” Mr Hampton said.