13 February 2023
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
from The Tree Projects and Victorian Forest Alliance
Recent reports have found that native forest logging in south-eastern Australia emits 11.2 million tonnes of carbon each year. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions of 2.6 million cars and is greater than the annual emissions of Australia’s domestic aviation industry.
A new report released last Thursday titled “NSW Forest Carbon: An Effective Climate Change Solution” shows that logging in New South Wales emits 3.6 million tonnes of carbon each year. This joins another two reports which show that Victoria’s native forest logging industry emits 3 million tonnes of carbon each year, while logging in Tasmania emits 4.6 million tonnes.
If native forests were protected in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, 212 million tonnes of carbon could be prevented from entering the atmosphere by 2050. That would have the equivalent benefit of shutting down Australia’s dirtiest coal power plant for 22 years.
Dr Jennifer Sanger, from the Tree Projects, is the author of the three reports and says the results are alarming. “I think many Australians would be shocked to find out that native forest logging is such a high emitting industry”, said Dr Sanger. “We need to act now on climate change and for Australia, this means ending native forest logging. Protecting forests is a low-cost, effective and immediate way to achieve emissions reduction. If the Australian Government wants to get serious about climate change then they need to act on this issue.”
The reports were written in response to the lack of transparency in current emissions reporting requirements. “Due to the way that emissions are reported, the emissions from native forest logging are not separated from the carbon dioxide absorbed by our forests,” said Dr Sanger. “Only a net figure is reported, which masks the true level of forestry’s emissions.”
The Victorian report was commissioned by Victorian Forest Alliance and published ahead of the state election in November last year. Spokesperson from Victorian Forest Alliance, Chris Schuringa, says the findings of these reports presents a time-bound opportunity for governments. “It couldn’t be any clearer. Native forest logging is terrible for climate and it’s terrible for biodiversity, pushing threatened species like the endangered greater glider, closer towards extinction. Ending native forest logging is a glaring opportunity to work with nature, not against it and take real action on climate.”
The Victorian Forest Alliance is calling for a rapid end to native forest logging. The Dan Andrews government currently plans to continue native forest logging until 2030.
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The Tree Projects
Victorian Forest Alliance
Dr. Jennifer Sanger
Ecologist & Author
0423 008 166
Media & Communications Officer
0412 893 513