The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction The Hon Angus Taylor’s release today of the ‘Report of the Expert Panel examining additional sources of low-cost abatement’ and the Government’s agreement to a series of recommendations made in that report.

The Expert Panel, chaired by former Business Council of Australia president Grant King, was tasked with identifying new opportunities to unlock low cost abatement and to ensure the Government’s $2 billion Climate Solutions Fund more effectively supports the adoption of new technologies, and new projects, across Australia’s industrial, manufacturing, transport and agriculture sectors.

AFPA Chief Executive Officer Ross Hampton said, “With this announcement, Mr Taylor has continued to streamline the Emission Reduction Fund’s (ERF) operations by targeting red tape and increasing industry involvement in the development of new emission reduction methods.”

“One key area of additional emissions reduction is supporting new renewable bioenergy projects. Uniquely, bioenergy can deliver baseload power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, unlike many alternative renewables. Investing in bioenergy projects supports regional jobs and downstream economic activity, and it is well suited to many existing regional wood and paper product manufacturing sites across Australia. These projects need to be considered under the Government’s forthcoming Technology Investment Roadmap.”

“This report recognises that growing trees are a sustainable biological resource that produce renewable wood and paper products, including emerging new and innovative products like biomaterials, biochemicals and bioenergy. They also provide multiple benefits, including stored carbon in growing trees, renewable wood and paper products, economic activity, and regional jobs.”

“In addition, relative to alternative building materials, wood products have very low embodied energy, with very low fossil fuel energy inputs used in their production. New emission reduction methods are needed to maximise these opportunities, and as recommended, industry is best placed to advise the Government on their development.”

“AFPA urges implementation of the report’s recommendations to streamline and energise the Government’s ERF, so that industry can more effectively play a significant role in reducing emissions and supporting Australia to meet its climate change goals ,” Mr Hampton concluded.

Original media release is here: Media Release – GOVERNMENT ACTION WELCOMED ON EMISSIONS REDUCTION REPORT