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Forestry Key To Government Climate Change Policy

For immediate use
17 October 2002

Forestry the key to government climate change policy

[233 words]

"The Government's climate change policy is made possible only by the contribution of the forestry industry," said Forest Industries Council chairman Devon McLean today.

Mr McLean was reacting to the Government's announcement of its climate change policies.

"The Government has recognised the vital role of forestry through its offer to negotiate a Forestry Framework Agreement with the industry. The industry is prepared to enter into this negotiation once certain understandings about the level of investment in projects under the framework have been reached."

Mr McLean said ratification of the Kyoto Protocol would entail costs to the economy which would be offset by credit for carbon sequestered in forest sinks.

"Since the Government has decided not to devolve sinks to the industry, it is good to see the Government assuming the liability for deforestation and providing incentives for permanent sequestration. The industry looks forward to contributing to the detail of these policy measures."

Mr McLean said the proposed Forestry Framework would provide a means for forestry to contribute to the Government's climate change policy. "Forest sinks effectively allow other sectors to be shielded from the full impact of Kyoto adjustment.

"A significant portion of the credits derived from the forests need to be reinvested back into the development of the sector. This will create a 'virtuous cycle' of growth and economic development for New Zealand which is friendly to climate change," concluded Mr McLean.


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