Canada’s Forest Sector Welcomes Federal Emissions Report

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Forestry plays a critical role in addressing worsening fire patterns and the use of renewable forest products is essential to Canada securing a lower carbon economy: Belanger

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) Vice President, Indigenous Relations and Forestry, Etienne Belanger issued the following statement in response to the release of the 2024 National Inventory Report today by Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault.

“Today's greenhouse gas emissions data shows that while Canada has made meaningful strides towards its emissions reduction goals, we must do more to address worsening pest outbreaks, drought conditions, wildfires and their impacts on human health and safety, community infrastructure, the environment, and local economies.

We welcome the government’s commitment to continuous improvement on forest carbon estimates based on the best available science and data. This is needed to meet Canada’s international obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines.

While the 2024 update demonstrates a clear downward trend in GHG emissions across Canada’s forest sector, last year’s most devastating wildfire season on record proved that more active management of our forests must become a national priority.

The forest sector has already significantly reduced emissions at its manufacturing facilities, with industrial emissions down by nearly 55% since 1990 and there is an opportunity to accelerate this progress with the support of Investment Tax Credits.

The commitment of our sector and Canadian forestry workers to environmental stewardship and further emissions reductions goes beyond our mills to the forest where we can implement new strategies related to forest thinning, fire breaks, and helping trees adapt to future climate conditions to minimize the impacts of pest, wildfire, and disease outbreaks.

Developed in partnership with sustainability experts at the Delphi Group, the recently released Climate Change Mitigation in Canada's Forest Products Sector: Roadmap Toward Net-Zero report provides an actionable path forward to help seize the benefits of climate-smart forestry, responsible forest management, and the use of carbon-storing wood products in the face of worsening natural disturbances.

Findings of the report show that with investments and new policies, the forest products sector could contribute an estimated 18 to 46 million tonnes CO2e in emission reductions annually (relative to current emissions) by 2050.

We look forward to continuing our work with federal and provincial governments, Indigenous Peoples, and local community and labour leaders to deliver win-wins for the environment and the economy.”

FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, paper, and wood-based bio products producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. As an industry with annual revenues exceeding $73B,Canada’s forest products sector is one of the country’s largest employers operating in hundreds of communities, providing 205,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country. Our members are committed to collaborating with Indigenous leaders, government bodies, and other key stakeholders to develop a cross-Canada action plan aimed at advancing forest health, while supporting workers, communities, and our environment for the long term.