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Home: Canadian Construction News: Canadian Forest Industry Vows To Meet 30 by 30 Climate Change Challenge

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Canadian Forest Industry Vows To Meet 30 by 30 Climate Change Challenge

Written by; Chad Simco / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Mon May 02 2016


Canada's forest products industry has committed itself to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases by 30 million tonnes per year by 2030.

The forestry association says around half of the promised emmision cuts will come from an improvement of forest practices, which will include using the slash from downed trees as apposed to burning it or allowing it rot which emits methane.

Expanded and improved use of carbon sequestering wood products, plus efficiencies in wood mill operations will make up the balance of the emission cuts.

The newly appointed CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), Derek Nighbor, says that the federal governments Canadian Forest Service estimated how much the forestry sector could contribute to reducing emissions and the industry projects above that estimate.

At the recent United Nations climate negotiations held in Paris, France, Canada had committed to reduce its overall emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 - emission cuts that amounts to about 225 million metric tonnes a year.

The forestry industry association stated that its carbon measures will make up about 13% of that 2030 emissions promise and that the industry will be tracking the progress to ensure its emissions are coming down, on target.

"We're the first industry to come forward with a comprehensive plan and it's a plan that we're going to be reporting on every three years," Nighbor said Monday in an interview.

The forestry association is also dedicated to contributing to all 4 federal/provincial policy working groups that are negotiating policy options for a pan-Canadian climate plan to be worked out by next fall. Those working groups, formed following a first ministers meeting in Vancouver, BC at the beginning of March 2016, were given 6 months to find common ground on areas such as climate mitigation and adaptation, carbon pricing and clean technology innovation.

The forestry association's "30 by 30 climate change challenge" is a part of a detailed lobbying effort that includes seeking government financial support for clean tech research and development and forest products procurement as part of infrastructure spending.

"There are a few levers here we need the government to pull," said Nighbor.

The forestry sector says it has spent $1.5 Billion (CAD) on clean tech innovation over the last 5 years and that since 1990 it has reduced emissions from existing mills by 2/3rds.

The forest association's environment and labour market policy director, Bob Larocque, said that using wood waste for new laminate products and biofuels can reduce carbon emissions, as can planting faster growing, climate resistant trees that absorb more carbon from the atmosphere.

Canada is also reintroducing taller wood structure buildings, including construction of a 13 story building in Quebec City and a 18 story residence at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The association argues that wood laminate buildings not only sequester the carbon in the timber for the life of the building, it also doesn't require the carbon intensive concrete or steel of more conventional tall structures.


Copyright: 2016

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