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FPAC applauds federal plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050


November 20, 2020
By P&PC Staff

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The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) says it supports the tabling of a federal bill that aims to Canada on the path to meet net-zero emission targets by 2050.

Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of environment and climate change, introduced the the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act in the House of Commons on Nov. 19.

The act, which will legally bind the government to a process to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, will establish rolling five-year emissions-reduction targets and require plans to reach each one and report on progress.

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Net-zero emissions means there are either no greenhouse gas emissions, or the emissions are completely offset by other actions that remove climate-warming gases from the atmosphere.

In the speech from the throne earlier this year, the government said it would further achieve net-zero emissions by launching a new fund to attract investments in companies making zero-emissions products and cutting the corporate tax rate in half for these companies, and by supporting manufacturing, natural resource, energy and agriculture sectors as they work to transform to meet net-zero targets.

“Canada’s forest sector is positioned to be one of the leaders in our move to a low-carbon economy,” says Derek Nighbor, FPAC president and CEO, in a statement about the Nov. 19 bill.

“We have already reduced GHG emissions by over 66 per cent since the early 1990s and were the first major industry group in the country to put forward a plan to help achieve the federal government’s Paris Agreement targets.”

He says Canada’s managed forests and wood products have already created a carbon sink in Canada, but that more government procurement for mass timber construction and residuals for bioproducts and biofuels will further help to lower carbon emissions.

“Sustainable forestry powerhouses like Finland and Sweden are increasingly turning to forest products to accelerate their move to a lower carbon economy,” Nighbor says. “Building with wood reduces the carbon footprint of buildings and can reduce pollution during construction by up to 45 per cent.

“Canada’s forest sector and forestry workers have a huge opportunity to do so much more to build a greener economy and drive post-pandemic recovery. We welcome the government’s commitment to securing long-term investments and advancing low-carbon, climate-resilient projects and look forward being a big part of the solution on the path to 2050.”