Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has provided a strong endorsement of Australia’s sustainably managed native and plantation timber industries and their vital role in achieving Australia’s net zero emissions goal and global partnership to end deforestation.
Speaking at the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Members Dinner in Canberra last night Mr Albanese congratulated AFPA and the National Farmers Federation (NFF) for leading a joint agriculture and forestry delegation to the climate talks just concluded in Egypt and was adamant that Australia’s signing of the Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership (FCLP) at COP27, initiated by the UK, is completely consistent with supporting climate smart forestry such as is practiced in Australia:
“The Partnership is consistent with our sustainable native forestry practices and it will see us focus on promoting sustainable production and trade, along with scaling up regional carbon markets.
“We will work together to meet our commitments and provide new and yet-to-be-developed renewable forest materials to help move Australia to a net zero economy.”
Mr Albanese also backed the vital role of Australia’s timber plantation sector in meeting Australia’s net zero emission goals, and committed to working with the sector to maximise its opportunities in the carbon market by removing regulatory barriers in the Emissions Reduction Fund:
I know the plantation industry wants to play its part in achieving net zero emissions, and we want to work with you in doing just that.
One thing we’re particularly keen to do is to ensure that your sector can fully participate in generating and benefiting from carbon credits.
We are undertaking an independent review of our carbon credits system so Australia can benefit from a strong and credible market place, and we’ll continue to work with you to remove barriers to investment in plantations and farm forestry including changes to the water interception rule.”
Chair of AFPA, Diana Gibbs, said, “Our sustainable forest industries were privileged at our Members Dinner to have Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator the Hon Murray Watt, both speak so forcefully and passionately about the vital role forest industries in this country must play in delivering climate goals, timber for our homes, regional jobs and sovereign capability.
“I was very pleased to have the opportunity to thank them both for the more than $300 million in election commitments which have been delivered in the budget. These commitments will help us drive innovation to deliver more timber from the sustainably used forests we already have as well as start the urgent business of adding more production trees to the estate.
“The Federal Government has committed to seeing another billion production trees planted to ensure we have the timber for our children’s homes. We are well behind on this goal. As well as stocking the hardware shelves, a billion more trees will also be a major down payment on the Government’s 43% emissions reduction target so we really are in a position to deliver a win-win if the policy settings are right.
“Importantly, we also have bipartisan support for these policies, and we thank Shadow Minister for Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Jonno Duniam, for speaking in support of these policies last night and being such a passionate supporter of Australia’s sustainable forest industries,” Diana Gibbs concluded.
ABOVE: Prime Minister Albanese addressing the AFPA Dinner.