Canada Continues to Underestimate Emissions from Logging in Newest GHG Stock, Ignoring Calls from Policymakers, Scientists, and Civil Society

In its 2024 Nationwide Greenhouse Fuel Stock, launched yesterday, Canada has continued its longstanding apply of downplaying the logging business’s function in driving the local weather disaster.

Amid a rising refrain of scientists, policymakers, and civil society organizations calling for Canada to transparently report emissions from logging, the federal authorities has as a substitute clung to its controversial accounting practices that, attributable to unbalanced methodologies, erase a big proportion of the sector’s emissions from the ledger books.

Earlier this yr, a peer-reviewed paper discovered that, between 2005 and 2021, the common annual web greenhouse gasoline emissions from logging have been over 90 megatonnes (Mt) CO2e.

“Canada has as soon as once more hidden the numerous local weather impacts of logging,” mentioned Michael Polanyi of Nature Canada. “The logging business is clearcutting a few of the world’s most carbon-rich forests and getting a move from the federal government.”

In a optimistic step, Canada has retreated from the declare that forestry is a low-carbon sector. As an alternative of representing forestry as a small carbon sink, because it has in recent times, this yr’s Stock reveals the web emissions from human actions within the managed forest have been 24 megatones (Mt) in 2022, equal to half of the emissions from electrical energy technology in Canada.

“This up to date determine solely additional illuminates the intense variability within the authorities’s forest carbon accounting numbers,” mentioned Jennifer Skene of NRDC (Pure Assets Protection Council). “This yr’s Stock additional reinforces the necessity for transparency in relation to this sector.”

This newest Stock is the primary since Canada’s Commissioner of Surroundings and Sustainable Improvement discovered, in a 2023 report, that “Surroundings and Local weather Change was not clear in its reporting on the consequences that human actions on forest land have on greenhouse gasoline emissions.”

Quite a few voices have echoed this concern, highlighting how the federal government’s methodology for figuring out anthropogenic versus pure emissions and removals creates an inherent bias that successfully erases the forestry sector’s important carbon footprint. Worldwide scientists and environmental and well being organizations have urged the federal government to transparently and precisely report on emissions attributable to logging, and final December, 29 Members of Parliament and Senators known as on the federal government to “advance efficient motion to sort out local weather change by committing to individually and transparently report GHG emissions attributable to logging.”

The federal government has given no indication that it’s reconsidering its present reporting of pure removals. Whereas Vitality and Pure Assets Canada and Surroundings and Local weather Change Canada are embarking upon a joint assessment of its land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) accounting, the Departments have explicitly restricted the scope of this assessment to different points.

“Canada’s accounting selections are actively working in opposition to its worldwide commitments on forests and local weather.” mentioned Skene. “In its biased intermingling of pure removals with anthropogenic fluxes, the federal government is producing a listing that, on logging, fails to information efficient coverage choices and, in actual fact, fuels dangerous outcomes.”

“Options that foster sustainable economies and defend future generations are doable,” mentioned Polanyi. “Nevertheless, actual options require accounting that itself is grounded in actuality. The federal government must come clean with the local weather prices of present logging practices so as to ship efficient, significant change.”

Scott Mullenix
Nature Canada
613-562-3447 ext. 230
[email protected]

Margie Kelly
Pure Assets Protection Council (NRDC)
[email protected]

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