Funding industrial forestry with climate money a blow to serious action on forests and climate at Paris climate talks
A Leaders' Statement on Forests and Climate Change issued in Paris has disappointed Humane Society International (HSI) with its signal of support for industrial scale logging with climate funds. HSI's goal to see intact natural forests of the world conserved for their immense carbon stores is being advocated abroad at the COP21 climate talks as well as in Australia at a Bioenergy Australia Conference by HSI's climate change advisors Alistair Graham and Peg Putt.
While the world's eyes are on COP21 in Paris to set the scene for the international response to climate change, HSI is extremely concerned to see the conference has begun with a blow to forest conservation plans.
HSI Climate Change Advisor Peg Putt said, "Day one in Paris has delivered a weak statement on forests that suggests that degrading industrial forestry will not be restrained but rather encouraged with climate funds.”
"A big flaw is that only deforestation, the very final stage of the process of forest degradation, is to get serious attention. While this is needed, the overall approach needs to prioritize protection of forests from the outset. The remaining intact natural forests of the world are valuable as large terrestrial carbon stores, which should be kept safe from degrading industrial forestry that causes large emissions, even when subject to systems badged as sustainable forest management,” Ms Putt continued.
"The sense of urgency and a sense that action on forests can and will play a vital role immediately is lacking from this rather fluffy statement that lacks direction. For early action on climate, forests are a significant starting point, whilst thorough changes to industrial and transport emissions are put into place,” Ms Putt concluded.