The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) released its statement on climate change ahead of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting (COP21) in Paris, France. The statement presents the contributions of forests and the forest products industry to the mitigation of global climate change and calls on governments to recognize these contributions.
The ICFPA will elaborate on the forest products industry’s efforts at a COP21 side-event – “Assessing transparency and ambition in the land use and forestry sector”, held at the EU Pavilion on December 1 at 2:30 pm. The side-event will be hosted by the ICFPA and the EU Joint Research Centre.
“Forests and the global forest products industry have a key role in helping to mitigate climate change. A low carbon economy has to consider the forest industry as a contributor to climate solutions”, said Marco Mensink, Director General of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). “With this policy statement, we are encouraging national governments to recognize and foster all positive contributions that forests and forest products provide in combating climate change.”
The industry has made significant contributions to mitigate climate change. In addition to greenhouse gas (GHG) removals and stocking carbon in products, ICFPA members have achieved an impressive drop in their GHG emissions intensity: 5 percent since 2010/2011 and 17 percent since the 2004-2005 baseline year, as shown in the ICFPA 2015 Sustainability Progress Report (2013 data).
The statement calls on governments and the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to recognize sustainable forest management and reforestation activities for their contribution to the global climate effort, as well as the recognition of the efforts and achievements of the forest products industry to mitigate climate change, including the carbon neutrality of biomass harvested from sustainably managed forests and the need to provide for market-based mechanisms capable of valuing mitigation actions to incentivize the industry’s potential contribution.
The ICFPA’s statement is the latest in a series of policy statements underwritten by its members associations. The ICFPA serves as a forum of global dialogue, co-ordination and co-operation. Together, ICFPA members represent over 90 percent of global paper production and more than half of global wood production.