A few facts on forestry and climate as COP26 gets underway

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As the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) gets underway in Glasgow, United Kingdom, Resolute invites all users of forest products to consider the important role these products play in achieving climate goals. Here are a few facts about Canadian forestry and climate. 

  1. Forest products are helping reach Canada’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Our industry plays an important role in mitigating climate change, and increasing forest resiliency. By operating responsibly, managing forests sustainably, and producing long-lived, innovative wood products, Canada’s forest sector has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 million tonnes (mt) annually by 2050.
  1. The forest products industry embodies the principles of a circular economy. Most harvested wood becomes lumber for construction and home renovation, wood chips and other residues become pulp and paper, and bark and sawdust are used to generate renewable energy. We operate efficiently, use virtually every part of each tree, and continuously explore innovative uses for the by-products of lumber production.
  1. Canada’s forests are among the best managed on earth. This is thanks to world-class and internationally recognized forest management policies. Canada is known as a low risk country for corruption and illegal logging, as shown by several credible assessments.
  1. Canada’s overall annual deforestation rate is only 0.01% – and that rate is expected to continue to decline.  The term ‘deforestation’ refers to the permanent clearing of forests to make way for new, non-forest land uses. Areas where harvesting or fire have occurred cannot be said to be ‘deforested’, because they regenerate into a new forest.
  1. In Canada, all harvested areas are promptly regenerated. As saplings grow, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Young forests are more resistant to fire and insect outbreaks than older forests, limiting the impact of natural and recurrent disturbances. 
  1. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognizes responsible forest management as instrumental in combating climate change. Sustainable forest management can reduce the extent of forest conversion to non-forest uses, maintain or enhance forest carbon stocks, maintain forest carbon sinks and limit the impact of natural disturbances like fires. 
  1. The IPCC also recognizes the capacity for wood products to store carbon long-term. Where wood carbon is transferred to harvested wood products, these can store carbon over the long-term and can substitute for emissions-intensive materials reducing emissions in other sectors. 
  1. Canada’s forest carbon accounting is carried out by dedicated, respected scientists whose methods are endorsed by the IPCC. The model and approach they use have evolved over 30 years, and 25 countries have now used the Canadian Forest Service’s Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector (CBM).
  1. Canada’s forest products industry – and Resolute – have dramatically decreased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in recent years. In March 2021, Resolute committed to reducing absolute greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1 and 2) by 30% against 2015 levels by 2025. This new target builds on our 85% reduction in absolute GHG emissions from year-2000 levels, two-thirds of which reflect reductions in emission intensity.  

Resolute is proud of our ambitious actions when it comes to climate, while remaining cognizant that this work is ongoing. We are grateful for the opportunity our industry has to play a key role in transitioning to a low-carbon future. To learn more about the forest carbon cycle, check out our infographic.

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Source: The Resolute Blog