The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes the Government’s statements on the need for a balanced, flexible and technology-neutral national policy approach to meeting Australia’s long-term emissions reduction targets in its Climate Change Review, CEO of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said today.

“AFPA also welcomes the recognition that our industries need to remain internationally competitive, especially considering ongoing energy cost pressures,” Mr Hampton said.

“Forest industries have just started accessing the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) to support the long-term storage of carbon in new plantation forests. We welcome the Government’s continued support for the ERF and will work with the Government on further improvements and streamlining of the ERF and the Safeguard Mechanism.”

“We note the Government’s support in principle of the use of international credits. If international credit use is allowed, there needs to be a reasonable balance between promoting domestic abatement and minimising overall carbon costs with access to credible, high quality international units.”

AFPA’s submission to the Review highlighted that Australia can use forest industries to

achieve climate change targets through:

·        The carbon stored in growing forests.

·        The carbon stored in harvested wood products.

·        The substitution of high emissions construction materials with wood-based products that have low embodied energy.

·        The use of sustainably sourced woody biomass for renewable energy (including renewable heat and biofuels) displacing fossil fuels.

·        The development of new generation value-added products, such as biomaterials, biochemicals and bioenergy.

“As mentioned in the Review, the new National Energy Guarantee (NEG) should support the significant potential of bioenergy, including renewable heat and biofuels, to reduce Australia’s emissions. Bioenergy uniquely, provides renewable, dispatchable and baseload energy and can play a role in both the reliability and emissions guarantees by complementing existing coal-fired power plants and intermittent renewables like wind and solar,” Mr Hampton concluded.

Climate Change Review highlights forest industries potential