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Forest Sinks Not Invalidated

Environmental Defence Society

The announcement of a group of experts from London that forest sinks may not be permanent is another attempt to sway negotiators at the Marrakech climate negotiations to an extreme view, according to the Environmental Defence Society.

Spokesperson for the Society, Mr Garry Law who is attending the conference said;“the extreme lobby against sinks lost the argument at Kyoto four years ago. Their interventions to re-argue their case since then have done little but undermine progress to setting the rules for getting the Kyoto Protocol into operation.

“Sequestering carbon in trees is a good place to start addressing the problem. The atmosphere will feel the benefit of sinks that are genuinely new. The Kyoto rules can ensure that they are. That trees are less permanent than leaving fossil fuel in the ground, that ever more areas of new planting cannot be a long term solution are legitimate points but they are not sufficient. The world needs some opportunities to start tackling the emission problem while the technologies for renewable energy are developed. Indeed the trees planted as sinks have every prospect of begin part of that renewable energy – biofuel.

“If trees turn out not to be permanent the accounting rules under Kyoto will mean that the emissions will be debits that have to be covered by new savings.

“The countries that register sink credits will have every incentive to ensure their permanency, said Mr Law.

“To call trees as sinks a right to pollute is misleading. So are the historically based emission rights all the developed countries are collecting. Forest sinks are much greener than them because the forests hold the prospect of future use for biofuel – where a large part of the world’s energy has to come from in future. New Zealand has an opportunity to develop the harvesting and processing technology to do that better than today.

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