OTTAWA, Dec. 9, 2016 (CNW) -As the Prime Minister meets with premiers from across the country today on the issue of climate change, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is calling for strong leadership and smart policies so the forest sector can do its part to support the transition to a low carbon economy.
Earlier this year FPAC announced its ambitious 30 by 30 Climate Change Challenge where it pledged to cut 30 megatonnes of greenhouse gases a year by 2030, about 13% of the federal government's overall climate change target.
To reach that goal, FPAC would like to see provinces allocate all revenue generated by a price on carbon to a technology fund made available to industry to support further greening of operations. FPAC would also like to call on the federal and provincial governments to join the global movement to building more with wood as a way to reduce GHG emissions by replacing materials made from fossil fuels.
"We agree that putting a price on pollution can be a win for both the environment and the economy", says the CEO of FPAC, Derek Nighbor. "The forest products industry has pledged to do more than any other sector in the country to tackle climate change. With smart government policy, we can do this while still supporting forest communities and the nearly one million families who rely on forestry for their livelihoods".
Nighbor notes that FPAC has also signed on to two important initiatives: an open letter from more than 60 CEOS and civil society leaders urging the First Minister to take bold action on clean growth and climate change as well as the Clean Growth Century Initiative that says Canada can tackle climate change through innovation. As part of its pre-budget submission, FPAC has been asking for a renewed partnership with government to support innovation by de-risking the commercialization of new innovative green products and processes that could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Canadian forest products industry has also been increasing its production of renewable electricity from biomass residue – the sector now produces enough green electricity to power the city of Calgary. With government support for clean technology, FPAC believes the sector can increase its amount of renewable electricity generated in Canada.
"The forest sector appreciates the leadership role that governments in Canada are now taking to tackle climate change," says Nighbor. "We are uniquely positioned as a willing and able partner to drive real climate change results for Canada."
FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $65-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.