The Australian Forest Products Association has joined the National Farmer Federation in welcoming Net Zero Australia latest analysis recognising the criical role forestry and agriculture play in fighting climate change.
The report, which was published on Wednesday, 19 April 2023, identified the important role production forests play in the carbon sequestration effort.
Joel Fitzgibbon, CEO of the Australian Forest Products Association explains:
“Reducing emissions is a critical pathway to meeting our greenhouse gas reduction targets, but so too is greater emissions capture, both natural and technology based.”
In a media statement, Fitzgibbon asserts that the Australian forest products sector can make a major contribution to carbon reduction through tree growing and the downstream creation of sustainable and renewable products.
The report supports a concerted effort to expand the Australian forest area by at least 5.1 million. Through a combination of trees integrated with existing farming, environmental plantings, commercial plantations and human induced regeneration it will result in an additional net sink of −51 Mt-CO2e of annual sequestration by 2050.
“I firmly believe we need to harness the power of forestry, timber and wood fibre to help Australia meet net zero targets. Not only will utilising the forest products sector help Australia fight climate change, but it will also ensure Australia secures sovereign capability in supply to create essential everyday products long into the future while providing long term and secure jobs – many located in the regions,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
Launched in 2021, the Net Zero Australia study provides a rigorous and independent analysis outlining how Australia can achieve net zero emissions for both domestic and export economies. The final modelling results include a detailed breakdown of possible scenarios and sensitivities, sector by sector, and comprehensive mapping of the transition across the country.
“This Net Zero Australia analysis is further evidence that political and policy decision-makers should focus on getting more timber trees in the ground to meet our emission reduction targets and provide broader benefits for Australia and the world,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
Net Zero Australia is a partnership between the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland, Princeton University and international management consultancy Nous Group. Net Zero Australia uses the modelling method developed by Princeton University and Evolved Energy Research for its 2020 Net-Zero America study.