Friday, September 26, 2008

BC Government Booklet Proposes an Answer to Climate Change: "Use Wood"

The British Columbia government released a booklet yesterday called, "Tackle Climate Change, Use Wood." I think the title was meant to catch people's attention. The booklet caught my attention because of its unbalanced portrayal of logging as a climate change solution. The booklet talks about how wood stores carbon and leaves the impression that the best climate change strategy is to log old forests, use the wood and plant new trees. There is no mention of the fact that logging in natural forests actually results in net emissions because the old forests with big trees are replaced with younger forests with smaller ones. In fact, there's no mention of emissions from forest management activities at all. The booklet also makes the sweeping claim that 'bioenergy has no net greenhouse gas emissions.' Over the time scale that matters this is simply not true. It could take a hundred years or more for trees to grow back all the carbon that is removed and burned for bioenergy.

A number of ENGOs reacted yesterday with a media release. They concluded, "Forests and the forest industry do have a key role to play in B.C.'s climate change strategy; we feel it is critical to have an open discussion about the responsible ways of developing a forest-based climate
change policy."

The B.C. Government announcement with a link to the booklet.

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