Forest Products Industry Puts Government on Notice; Calls for Recognition for Early Action on Climate Change



    Forest Products Industry Increased Production by 20% and Achieved GHG
    Reductions 7 Times Kyoto Targets

    OTTAWA, April 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of the
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) will address the Senate Committee
on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources today as part of its study of
Bill C-288, An Act to ensure Canada meets its global climate change
obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. He will call on the government to use
1990 as its base year for calculation of emissions reductions because anything
less sends a message to good corporate citizens that environmental
responsibility is not recognized and is indeed penalized by making it more
advantageous to wait for regulation.
    Mr. Lazar will also detail how the volume of production in the forest
products has increased by 20% since 1990 during which time the industry also
made dramatic improvements in its overall efficiency, reducing emissions
intensity per output of production by 54%.
    "The industry's environmental improvements come as a result of massive
retooling, reinventing its energy model by switching from fossil fuels to
clean, renewable biomass energy and transforming itself from one of Canada's
largest industrial energy users towards its ultimate goal of being a net
source of green power," said Lazar.
    Over the past decade, the industry has invested over $24 billion in
facility upgrades and innovative processes in a continued effort to improve
its environmental performance, limit its impact on climate change, and enhance
its global competitiveness. The industry currently generates 60% of its own
energy using green, renewable fuels and there is a tremendous amount of new
technology in the works that points to the potential increase in that number
to 100%.
    Mr. Lazar will also discuss the clean air and environmental benefits of
retooling which have also been dramatic. FPAC members have not only reduced
their greenhouse gas emissions by 44% (7 times Kyoto baseline targets without
the use of offsets), they have also reduced consumption of fossil fuels by
45%, improved air quality by 60%, and reduced what they send to landfill by
40%.
    Finally, Mr. Lazar will share what the industry hopes to see in upcoming
emissions regulations, "The lesson to be learned from the experience of the
forest products industry is that fundamental retooling of industry processes
is critical to any climate change strategy," added Lazar. "FPAC members did
not wait to be regulated, deciding instead to move early on climate change and
clean air because they made sense from both an environmental and a
competitiveness perspective. And while we are proud of our record in reducing
emissions, and determined to go even further, we hope that the government will
recognize those industries like the forest products industry that acted early
to reduce their emissions."

    FPAC is the voice of Canada's wood, pulp and paper producers nationally
and internationally in government, trade and environmental affairs. Canada's
forest industry is an $80 billion dollar a year industry that represents 3% of
Canada's GDP. The industry is one of Canada's largest employers, operating in
over 320 Canadian communities and providing nearly 900,000 direct and indirect
jobs across the country.




For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Des Chênes, Director, Communications,
Forest Products Association of Canada, (613) 563-1441 ext: 323,
ideschenes@fpac.ca


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