MEDIA RELEASE 15 July 2011
The proposed tax on Carbon pollution must take into account the significant value of native forests for carbon storage, given the results of new research published in the journal Science yesterday that forests soak up to one third of the world’s emissions of Carbon dioxide.
NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said that there can be no doubt that NSW’s forests are part of the solution to climate change if we now stop woodchipping them and urgently reduce logging intensity.
“Logging of publicly owned native forests in NSW costs taxpayers between 8-14 million dollars a year in industry subsidies. The over-commitment of resources to private companies has now become so chronic that forests NSW are rapidly increasing logging intensities and frequencies, and routinely breaching environmental laws, to extract every tree they can. This is rapidly depleting their carbon stores.
“Despite the over-logging the NSW Government can’t meet commitments and taxpayers are going to have to pay companies millions of dollars in compensation for not supplying the unrealistic annual volumes that were given to mill owners in 2004 for free by the previous Government.
“A 2008 study by the Australian National University on south-east Australia’s forests had already established that logging of natural forests reduces carbon storage by 40-60% and that it takes an average of 152 years to return to 90% of the original storage capacity. The bigger the trees the more carbon they sequester and store.
“The study identified that south-east Australia’s native forests have the potential to sequester the equivalent of about a quarter of Australia’s 2005 CO2 emissions each year for the next 100 years if left alone.
“Logging of public native forests needs to be limited to high-value low-volume products and we need to urgently stop using them for low-value high-volume products like woodchips. Allowing the existing carbon stocks of native forests to remain and increase over time is in the best economic interests of all NSW’s citizens.
“If we now allow logged forests to recover their natural structure they will reduce our CO2 emissions, help remove CO2 from the atmosphere, allow water yields to streams to increase over time and be a boon to our threatened native species.
“It is a win win for the NSW environment and economy” Mr. Pugh said..
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT DAILAN PUGH ON 66 807063.
A CSIRO PR of today on the recent research is at:
The article published yesterday is available at:
The 2008 ANU study is available at: http://epress.anu.edu.au/green_carbon_citation.html