Forestry – Canada’s Secret (Climate Change) Weapon

  |  
November 4, 2021

By Janet Lane, Registered Professional Forester (RPF) and Kate Lindsay, Senior Vice President, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)

As world leaders gather in Glasgow this week, we are reminded that Canada’s forests give our country a powerful advantage that is the envy of most countries on the planet. Canada’s forests and the sustainably sourced products they provide are among the most powerful weapons in Canada’s climate change arsenal as we work to reduce emissions and store more carbon in the coming years.

Canadian forestry is rooted in the principles of sustainability, biodiversity conservation, and supporting forest health and renewal.  Our foresters have, for decades, acted as our first line of defense in managing these dynamic ecosystems and have long supported the need for action on climate change.

Canada’s forest sector was one of the few industry groups that got behind The Kyoto Protocol in the late 90s. We were early adopters of industry targets to help Canada meet its Paris Agreement commitments, and we are currently finalizing an action plan to be the blueprint for how the sector will help Canada achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. In fact, we believe we are one of the few industries in the country that can go beyond net-zero – and do it before 2050.

Our solutions are many and they are right across the value chain. By 2030, Canada’s forest industry will be in a position to remove the equivalent of 30 megatonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year through innovative efforts in our woodlands operations, at our mills, along our supply chain, and through the products we make that store carbon and can displace more fossil fuel intensive materials. Those removals represent more than 10 per cent of Canada’s goal under the Paris Agreement and is equivalent to taking over 9 million cars off the road.

We know that sustainable forest management can be a positive influence for carbon, renew forests for resilience, lessen the impacts of insect outbreaks and catastrophic fire, as well as be a key part of a ‘whole of society’ approach for adaptation. There are five key and related elements that underpin our climate action plan:

  1. Climate-Smart Forestry: Advancing forest health and sequestering land-based carbon with value placed on “keeping forests as forests forever” to provide powerful natural climate solutions.
  2. Long-lived products: Locking up carbon for the long-term through long-lived forest products that store carbon for many years after the trees are harvested.
  3. GHG emissions reduction: Since 1990, Canada has reduced Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 65 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively, and is contributing to the greening of the electrical grid – and through innovation and by implementing new technologies we can do more.
  4. Optimal use of forest resources: Optimizing recycling and making Canada a forest bioeconomy powerhouse. In addition to being used to create green energy, forest residues can be used to make renewable bioproducts. In doing so, value is added to what would otherwise be wood waste and we can displace more fossil fuel intensive products in the process.
  5. Avoided emissions: GHG mitigation benefits when GHG-intensive products are substituted with forest products, as wood products generally release less fossil GHGs over their life cycle than their fuel-intensive alternatives – and wood has the capacity to store carbon over long periods of time.

As world leaders meet this week to discuss the urgent need for tangible climate action, Canada’s forest sector and its workers offer solutions that are achievable and where the environment and economy truly come together. The time is now to embrace forestry’s unique power to deliver a lower-carbon and circular future rooted in a truly renewable natural resources – our forests and the sustainably sourced products from within them.

Janet Lane is a Registered Professional Forester (RPF). Kate Lindsay is the Senior Vice President of Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC).

For more information contact:
Kerry Patterson-Baker
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
Follow FPAC on Twitter: @FPAC_APFC
December 1, 2021
FPAC Calls for a Team Canada Action Plan on Trade | The Time for Action is Now: Nighbor
FPAC is calling on the Canadian government to take leadership on a clear action plan to enable sector growth and opportunity for Canadian forestry workers and their families.
Read This
November 12, 2021
UN FAO Report Outlines How Wood-Based Products Fight Climate Change
New technologies create opportunities for forestry to lead the way.
Read This
November 2, 2021
FPAC Recognizes Importance of COP26 Global Deforestation Pledge
We are hopeful that today’s Declaration will support the expansion of forest certification to promote sustainably managed forests, encourage responsible consumption worldwide, and help advance our collective fight against climate change.
Read This
October 28, 2021
International Wood Manifesto Launches in Advance of COP26
Growing Canada’s low-carbon future by building with wood.
Read This
September 21, 2020
Lisa Raitt Honoured As Community Champion By Canada's Forest Products Sector
Forest Products Association of Canada recognizes former minister Lisa Raitt's leadership in the forestry sector with Forestry Community Champion award
Read This
November 13, 2019
The Search for Canada's Greenest Workforce
Canada's forest industry is a top employer and global leader in sustainability, forest management, clean technology and innovation
Read This
March 21, 2019
Standing Tall with Canada's Forest Workers on International Day of Forests
Forest Products Association of Canada celebrates forestry communities, workers and world leading forestry management for International Day of Forests
Read This
February 20, 2019
Opinion | Workforce Diversity - Canada's Forest Sector Branches Out
Forest Products Association of Canada embraces diversity and encourages women and indigenous to join the forestry workforce
Read This
November 29, 2021
Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training
A series on the cultural awareness of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.
Read This
October 20, 2021
Job Posting – Communications Coordinator
We have a unique opportunity for someone who wants to learn and develop skills in communications and public affairs.
Read This
October 20, 2021
Job Posting – Analyst, Policy and Knowledge Centre
We have a great opportunity for someone who is interested in public policy, analyzing data and information, and supporting the development and maintenance of our organization’s ‘knowledge centre’.
Read This
October 1, 2021
California Procurement Bill Threatens Canadian Forestry Jobs and State Social Housing Initiative
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the United Steelworkers (USW) fully support the legislation’s laudable intention to ensure that wood products are responsibly sourced from sustainably managed forests.
Read This
October 28, 2021
International Wood Manifesto Launches in Advance of COP26
Growing Canada’s low-carbon future by building with wood.
Read This
October 5, 2021
From Zero Waste to Net Zero, Canada’s Forests Are Critical to a Cleaner, Greener Future
Canada’s sustainably-managed forests and the carbon-storing wood products they provide are key to supporting Canada’s transition to a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 - meeting conservation targets and creating the quality green jobs of tomorrow at the same time.
Read This
August 11, 2021
Canada’s Forest Sector Strongly Supports National Adaptation Strategy
Canadian forestry welcomes the opportunity to do our part so that Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy sets clear targets and performance measures for action that will better protect Canadians and Canadian jobs from climate-related threats like drought, pest outbreaks, wildfires, and floods.
Read This
May 12, 2021
Canada’s Forest Sector Welcomes Federal Investments That Spur Innovation and Pave the Way to a Net-Zero Future
Earlier today, Canada’s Minister for Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, launched a call for proposals under the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program. Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) welcomes these federal investments to help advance Canada’s forest sector bio-economy and low-emission energy future, while creating and maintaining jobs in communities across the country.
Read This