The Climate Change Authority (CCA) in its recent report emphasised that bioenergy (including the recognition of industrial heat) sourced from renewable biomass and land (including forestry) sector carbon credits are significant, yet relatively undeveloped sources of emissions reduction.
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Mr Ross Hampton said, “The CCA did a good job in highlighting that there is not just one answer to this complex challenge, rather a complementary policy toolkit is needed to capture the range of emissions reduction opportunities, including those in our renewable forest industries.”
“The CCA summarised the need for major transitions to meet future emissions reduction targets, while ensuring energy policy has stability and certainty (e.g. continuation of the Renewable Energy Target), and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency options (e.g. continued investment in the Emissions Reduction Fund). Bioenergy sourced from renewable biomass and forestry sector carbon credits have a significant role to play in this complex but necessary balance of climate and energy policy,”
“The forest products industry could make a significant contribution to delivering lower emissions and affordable base-load renewable energy security, while also providing a much needed boost of investment and jobs in forestry, wood and paper product manufacturing,” said Mr Hampton.
Other countries such as Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the UK are ahead of Australia by incentivising their businesses to both transfer from coal, oil and gas heating to heating from renewable biomass sources (i.e. from forestry and forest product processing residues or other sources), and recognising carbon storage in trees, wood and paper products. Ambitious emissions reduction targets and significant new investment could be achieved by supporting bioenergy sourced from renewable biomass and forestry sector carbon credits.
AFPA urges the Government to recognise and embrace the significant potential of emissions reduction and renewable bioenergy sourced from our renewable forest industries in their climate and energy policy reform deliberations, now and up until its 2017 emissions reduction policies review.