Nature Canada
loading logs into the truck

Ottawa Fails to Report Millions of Tonnes of Logging Emissions in GHG Update

Nature Canada statement in response to the release of Canada’s 2023 National GHG Inventory Report

Unceded Algonquin Territory — Ottawa, ON — April 14, 2023 — In its 2023 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory released today the Government of Canada has once again failed to transparently report the climate impacts of one of its highest-emitting sectors: the logging industry.

The flawed Inventory comes in the wake of growing calls for Canada to accurately and transparently report greenhouse gas emissions associated with industrial logging.

Instead, the government has doubled down on its approach of reporting logging emissions within the broader category of “net flux from forest land”, crediting the industry with carbon absorbed by vast areas of natural forests it has neither logged nor planted.

While the Inventory recognizes the vast carbon footprint associated with harvested wood products (128 Mt in 2021), it portrays the overall impact of industrial logging in Canada as carbon neutral (“forest land and harvested wood products” is reported as -9.1 Mt in 2021). This is an implausible claim given that over 700,000 hectares of forests are logged each year, most of which are carbon-rich primary forests.

A recent Nature Canada and Natural Resources Defense Council report calculated estimated, based on government data, that net logging and wood use emissions in 2020 were about 75 million tonnes, more than 10% of Canada’s total emissions.

In recent months, international scientists, health and environment groups, and U.S. and Canadian organizations have urged the federal government to clearly and accurately report the climate impacts of industrial logging.

The government’s continued failure to transparently report logging emissions unfairly exempts a large economic sector from climate action, leads to the adoption of counterproductive climate policies, and puts Canada’s globally significant forests at risk.

Nature Canada and NRDC are calling on the federal government to fix this gap in its climate plan by committing to transparently report GHG emissions from logging and wood use in its Emissions Reduction Plan progress report later this year.

For more information or interviews contact:

Michael Polanyi, Campaign and Policy Manager, Nature-based Climate Solutions | (343) 553-6060

Nature Canada is Canada’s voice for nature. Representing over 100,000 nature lovers and a network of more than 1,000 nature groups, Nature Canada has helped protect millions of acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat as well as engaging hundreds of thousands of Canadians in nature through its activities. Nature Canada has been raising Canadians’ voices for nature for over 80 years.


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