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Industry launches 30 by 30 climate change challenge


The forest products industry has calculated it can contribute to reducing climate change through forest management practices

The Canadian forest products industry is pledging to help Canada move to a low-carbon economy by removing 30 megatonnes (MT) of CO2 per year by 2030 – more than 13 per cent of the Canadian government’s emissions target.

The “30 by 30” Climate Change Challenge was issued May 2 by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), making the forest sector the first to voluntarily contribute to the federal government’s climate goals. Canada has signed the Paris agreement on climate change and is now promising to reduce emissions by 30 per cent, the equivalent of cutting 225 MT of CO2 a year by 2030.

The forest sector has a solid record of reducing greenhouse gases from its manufacturing processes. Since 1990, for example, Canada’s pulp and paper industry has reduced emissions by about 66 per cent, according to FPAC.

“Our industry is uniquely positioned to be a crucial part of the solution to climate change because our renewable forests and forest products all store carbon,” says Derek Nighbor, the CEO of FPAC. “We want to step up to the plate and do our part to help Canada reach its ambitious targets.”

The sector has calculated the 30 MT can be reached by such measures as forest management practices that can maximize carbon storage in the forest and spur the growth of trees, by increasing the use of innovative forest products and clean tech to displace materials made from fossil fuels, and by further efficiencies at mill sites.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, welcomes the plan: “I truly appreciate how the forest products industry has become the first sector to unveil how it can help Canada reach its emissions reduction target. This is the kind of contribution that we need from industry and I would encourage other sectors to show similar initiative.”

Richard Garneau, president and CEO of Resolute Forest Products, says the forest sector is already ahead of the curve, for example, in significantly cutting greenhouse gas emissions. “Now our industry is taking the next step by raising the bar yet again, helping Canada reach its new climate goals.”

Ted Seraphim, president and CEO of West Fraser, adds “30 by 30 is an important challenge, and one we have the determination to achieve. Our sector, in partnership with governments at all levels, has been able to accelerate our progress to reach our ambitious targets. We are ready to step up again and make a significant contribution to Canada’s climate goals.”

FPAC is now working on a detailed road map to further flesh out the details on how it intends to meet the Climate Change Challenge. For more details on the challenge go to fpac.ca/30by30