At the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco, USA, Unilever committed to supporting work in Sabah, Malaysia as part of the strategy to achieving a deforestation free supply chain and further reducing emissions. Unilever will help sustainably certify 60,000 hectares in Sabah, Malaysia as part of a program led by Forever Sabah, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Malaysia and PONGO Alliance. Sabah is pushing to certify 100 percent of the state’s palm oil production to Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification by 2025. According to WWF, this will help to reduce 17 million metric tons of CO2e in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Unilever’s commitment will: • Look to cover 60,000 hectares with RSPO certification • Benefit approximately 200 to 300 palm oil farmers • Help restore two ecological corridors and two riparian reserves (area of habitat connecting wildlife population). Click Read More below for additional information.
March 21st is International Day of Forests and this year’s theme is Forests and Energy.
Climate change, caused by increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere is a key challenge due to changes in global temperatures and precipitation patterns that affect regions and countries around the world.
There is growing awareness of the potential for a wider use of the forest industry to store carbon and lower GHG emissions. This is due to the recent 2015 Paris Agreement that recognizes the mitigation potential of forests to meet the challenges of climate change. For countries covered by the Kyoto protocol, GHG emission accounting for forest management has also become mandatory and recent changes in IPCC guidelines allows for accounting of carbon storage in harvested wood products.
“Forestry for a low-carbon future: Integrating forests and wood products in climate change strategies” published by the FAO in 2016 describes the valuable role that forests and harvested wood products can play in storing carbon and reducing CO2 emissions in both developed and developing countries. The report suggests that “a virtuous cycle can be enacted” since growth of sustainably managed forests increases removals of carbon from the atmosphere while augmenting the supply of wood products that can replace more carbon-intense products.
Key opportunities for climate change mitigation include: wood energy, wood-based building materials, reduced deforestation and improved forest management practices.
The FAO report estimates that over half of all wood produced in the world is used for energy each year. While much of this use is in developing countries for cooking and boiling water, 80.6 million people in Europe and 7.9 million people in North America use wood as their main source of heating. The use of renewable wood resources for energy is an opportunity for mitigation as they can replace fossil fuels and reduce GHG emissions.
The use of co-generation, or combined heat and power (CHP) facilities, as used in the pulp and paper industry, is cited as a great example of effective use of wood energy. CHP recovers waste heat from electricity production and uses it in other parts of the facility. Overall system efficiency is very high, ranging from 70 to 85%, contributing to significant GHG emission reductions.
When it comes to the use of wood biomass and CHP, the North American forest products industry has a great story to tell. In 2012, 96% of the electricity generated by the U.S. forest products industry was through CHP. On average, about 66% of the energy used at AF&PA member pulp and paper mills is generated from carbon-neutral biomass. Since 1990, U.S. pulp and paper mill purchased energy (from fossil fuels) use per ton of production has been reduced by 25%. The Canadian forest industry’s substantial cut in fossil fuel use between 2000 and 2012 has also helped reduce direct emissions by 56% and total energy use by 30%. In Canada, 98% of wood residue is now being used for either energy generation or composting. The above facts and sources can be found on our Two Sides Fact Sheet:
Much of the energy used for papermaking is renewable and the carbon footprint is surprisingly low.
Expanding global forest and tree cover is another mitigation opportunity although as the FAO report points out carbon taxes and credits or emissions trading systems need to value the carbon stored in forests in order for such expansion to occur. Public and private landowners, for example, are more likely to invest in tree plantations only if they perceive a return on their investment that is better than alternative land uses. Maintaining a healthy demand for forest products also increases the likelihood that forest area expands rather than contracts.
Sustainable forest management is necessary to realize all these mitigation opportunities. Practices which maintain as high an average stand volume as possible for as long as possible; reduce potential risks from pests, disease, fire and extreme weather; and maintain biodiversity lead to better carbon sequestration in the forest ecosystem.
more at: http://www.twosidesna.org/US/Well-managed-forests-are-key-to-a-low-carbon-future?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Well%20managed%20forests%20are%20key%20to%20a%20low%20carbon%20future%202017-03-21%20112954&utm_content=Well%20managed%20forests%20are%20key%20to%20a%20low%20carbon%20future%202017-03-21%20112954+CID_9274e1173a9155f9a41ee3cd6326b19d&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Click%20here%20to%20find%20out%20more