Canada's forestry industry joins fight against climate change

The Canadian forest products industry is pledging to help Canada move to a low carbon economy by removing 30 megatonnes of CO2 per year by 2030.

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) said its “30 by 30 Climate Change Challenge” makes the forest sector the first to voluntarily contribute to the federal government’s climate goals.

Canada has promised to reduce emissions by 30%, the equivalent of cutting 225 megatonnes of CO2 a year, by 2030. The Canadian forest products industry goal equates to more than 13% of the Canadian government’s emissions target.

Spurring the growth of trees, increasing the use of innovative forest products, technology to replace fossil fuels and further efficiencies at mill sites will all help meet the 30 megatonne target.

FPAC is working on a detailed road map to further flesh out the details on how it intends to meet the climate change challenge.

FPAC said that since 1990 Canada’s pulp and paper industry has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by around 66%.

FPAC CEO Derek Nighbor said the industry was uniquely positioned to be a crucial part of the climate change solution because renewable forests and forest products all store carbon.

“We want to step up to the plate and do our part to help Canada reach its ambitious targets,” he said.

Canada’s minister of natural resources, Jim Carr, welcomed the announcement.

“There can be no global solution to climate change without the forest sector, and the 30×30 challenge demonstrates the sector’s leadership,” he said.

“Through innovation in sustainable forest management, tall wood buildings, and the development of forest-based bio-products, including biofuels, the forest sector continues to adapt to meet the demands of changing global markets and the goal of a low- carbon economy.”

FPAC represents Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $65bn-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada’s GDP.

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