Region Archives: International

Business & Politics

How Russian timber bypasses U.S. sanctions by way of Vietnam

By Michael Tatarski
The Washington Post
October 1, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Russian birch wood has continued to flow to American consumers, disguised as Asian products, despite U.S. economic sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The Environmental Investigation Agency … reports that most birch products currently being exported from Vietnam to the United States originate in Russia. …roughly 40,000 cubic meters of birch wood is transported every month from Russia and China into Vietnam, where it’s assembled into furniture and plywood that end up on the shelves of major American retailers… The group’s investigators spoke to five Chinese companies accounting for 60 percent of China’s birch veneer exports to Vietnam and concluded that over 90 percent of their birch is sourced from Russia. One Chinese wood factory owner told the group that all of the birch their company uses comes from Russia but is repackaged in China and re-exported to Vietnam with China listed as the country of origin.

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UK accused of funding environmental racism with subsidies to Drax

By Damien Gayle
The Guardian UK
September 26, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

The UK government has been accused of funding environmental racism by giving £2m a day in subsidies to an energy company that has paid out millions over claims it breached pollution limits in the US south. An investigation by Unearthed, Greenpeace’s investigative unit, found Drax Biomass paid millions of dollars to US regulators over claims it exceeded limits on chemicals emissions at wood chip plants close to black and low-income communities. Among the charges faced by Drax was that it exceeded limits on emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To fuel its operations, and to tap into an increasing global market for biomass fuel, Drax operates an extensive North American supply chain, with 13 sites in the US and Canada producing 1.5m tonnes of compressed wood pellets a year. Late last month, Drax agreed to two settlements of $1.6m each with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

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EU approves new sanctions against Russia, includes stricter bans on steel, wood pulp and paper

My Europe
October 5, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Ursula von der Leyen

The European Union has approved new sanctions against Russia, including a price cap on the maritime trade of Russian oil. It comes in direct response to the illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions. The latest sanctions, endorsed on Wednesday morning by EU ambassadors, also introduce new exports and imports ban, as well as a brand-new provision that would prevent EU nationals from sitting on governing boards of Russia’s state-owned companies. …Besides the oil cap, the new round of sanctions, the eighth since the invasion began in February, imposes stricter import bans to keep certain Russian products out of the EU market, such as steel, wood pulp, paper, machinery, chemicals, plastic and cigarettes. This will deprive the Kremlin of €7 billion in revenues, according to Commission’s estimates.

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UPM inaugurates its new deep sea pulp terminal in the Port of Montevideo, Uruguay

UPM-Kymmene Corporation
October 5, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

UPM inaugurated its new pulp terminal in the port of Montevideo, Uruguay. This investment of approximately USD 280 million is a fundamental part of UPM’s USD 3.47 billion growth investment in Uruguay that includes a state-of-the-art pulp mill in Paso de los Toros, new eucalyptus tree nursery as well as local community investments in Paso de los Toros. …The new pulp terminal is located in the newly developed deep sea port in Montevideo. In the future, all UPM pulp from Uruguay will be shipped with fully loaded ocean vessels directly from Uruguay. This is a significant change to the current logistics that have depended on the deep sea ports in Brazil. …UPM’s new 2.1 million tonne greenfield eucalyptus pulp mill is scheduled to start production by the end of Q1 2023.

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AURELIUS announces the acquisition of three European paper mills from Sappi

AURELIUS
September 29, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Luxembourg/Munich – AURELIUS announces the acquisition of three European paper mills from Sappi Limited (Sappi). The global company is the leading European producer of coated graphic, packaging, and speciality paper. In FY22, the three sites are expected to generate combined revenues of more than EUR 1 bn. The transaction, which will be executed by AURELIUS’ co-investment structure, is expected to close in Q1 2023, subject to approval by the relevant competition and regulatory authorities. …The carve-out transaction from Sappi’s European business includes sites in Kirkniemi (Finland), Maastricht (The Netherlands), and Stockstadt (Germany), with over 1,400 full-time employees combined. The sites produce paper products that are used in publications (e. g. retail advertising), graphic paper (e. g. annual reports) and graphic boards (e. g. packaging).

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SIG : champions future of sustainable forestry as top sponsor for FSC General Assembly

SIG
September 27, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

SIG will be the exclusive top sponsor for the Forest Stewardship Council General Assembly in Bali, Indonesia, in October – an event that aims to set the course for a sustainable future for the world’s forests and the people and animals who inhabit them. “At SIG, we are committed to create more thriving forests as part of our ambition to go Way Beyond Good for people and the planet,” said Samuel Sigrist, CEO of SIG. “We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with the FSC by supporting an event that will help to determine the future of sustainable forest management.” The FSC operates the world’s most rigorous and trusted forest certification system – one that SIG has spearheaded in its industry. …The 9th FSC General Assembly will take place October 2022. As the FSC’s highest decision-making body, the General Assembly sets the direction of the organisation for the coming years.

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Finance & Economics

EU power price cap “disruptive” for biomass industry

By John Cooper
Argus Media
October 3, 2022
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States, International

The EU price cap could have “unintended consequences” and be “disruptive” for the biomass market, sector representatives at the US Industrial Pellet Association’s annual conference in Miami said on 3 October. EU energy ministers reached a political agreement on emergency measures on 30 September, including a €180/MWh cap on power prices, and are aiming to formally agree a legal text by the end of this week. A panel of European utilities expressed concerns over the impact the cap [but] agreed that the measures would not affect 90% of biomass in the market, as power generated under subsidies and on long-term contracts are not expected to be included in the cap regulation. There may be “unintended consequences”, UK utility Drax Group’s head of fuels, Rich Taylor, said. Although the UK falls outside the EU’s price cap, it would “dislocate the market temporarily”, Taylor said

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Woodbois shares looking attractive for sustainable timber enthusiasts

By Stuart Fieldhouse
The Armchair Trader
October 5, 2022
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

Activity in Woodbois shares picked up over the last week after the company’s largest shareholder, venture capital firm Rhino Ventures, changed its holdings in the sustainable timber production company. Woodbois is an Africa-focused forestry company with an ethical bent which has been generating strong revenue growth. It is a sustainability play that has attracted investors with an environmental concern, who want to see forestry in Africa conducted in a more planet-friendly manner. The company pursues a 23-year rotation cycle which sees it logging territory within its concession area for only three years out of 20. It also has production facilities in Gabon and Mozambique. Woodbois announced half year results in August, reporting H1 revenue up 38% and group profits up 59%. It recorded its first ever operating profit with H1 2022 positive cash flow. 

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Vietnam exports of forestry waste products likely to rake in billions of USD

Vietnam+
October 6, 2022
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

HANOI – Wood pellets, made from compressed sawdust and forestry wastes, have become a key currency earner of the wood industry, having the great potential to rank in the group of export staples with turnover of over 1 billion USD. Vietnam’s wood pellet export value was just about 145 million USD in 2017 and surged to 413 million USD in 2021. Close to 2.4 million tonnes of the product were shipped overseas in the first half of 2022 for approximately 354 million USD. If the growth is maintained at the current rate, the export turnover may hit around 700 million USD for the entire year. …The use of by-products to make the pellets helps wood factories raise incomes, offsetting the high price of imported raw materials. Currently, Vietnam houses about 300 pellet production facilities, which have solely exported to Japan and the Republic of Korea.

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Tight Wood Fiber Supply Has Pushed Global Costs for Pulplogs and Wood Chips Up 10%

By Håkan Ekström
Forests2Market Blog
October 4, 2022
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

Wood fiber prices continued their two-year upward trend in 2Q22, with hardwood increasing faster than softwood. These trends are reflected in WRI’s two global wood fiber price indices, which reached their highest levels since 2014 despite the strengthening of the US dollar against most other currencies. The global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) jumped 5.3% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) in 2Q22, which was more than 13% higher than a year ago, while the global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) has gone up only +7% since 2Q21 to $99.01/odmt (see chart). A combination of record-high prices for market pulp, low pulp inventories, and tight wood fiber supply have pushed costs for pulplogs and wood chips higher in both local currencies and US dollars in the past year. In local currencies, prices have increased the most in Europe (10-55%) and Latin America (25-45%) in 12 months, while the increases have been more modest in North America and Oceania.

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New Zealand log prices have been below average over the last year

By Scott Downs
PF Olson
September 30, 2022
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND — The PF Olsen Log Price Index increased $5 in September to $125 which is $1 above the two-year average, $3 above the three year-average and $1 above the five-year average. The September index is $7 above the one-year average, which shows that log prices have been well below average over the last year. Domestic log prices have been stable with little change as most domestic pricing is agreed at least quarterly. …China softwood log inventory has reduced by about 1m m3 over the last month to be below the 4m m3 mark, with radiata accounting for about 3.2m m3 of this volume. The reduction of inventory is due to significantly reduced supply. India – Price range is low 130s USD to low 140s USD for A grade. Demand for sawn timber is still weak. 

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Major Moves in the P&P Industry that Occurred in 3Q, 2022

By Fisher International
Forests2Market Blog
September 29, 2022
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

Klabin’s Puma II Project Exceeds Expectations — the Klabin’s Puma II project was initially designed to produce 920,000 tons of kraftliner board annually. However, Klabin decided to  invest in producing Eukaliner – the world’s first kraftliner using 100% eucalyptus fiber.

Global Capacity Growth Rate — the containerboard sector is one of the hottest grades in the market. …Compared to 3Q2020, 3Q2022 (as of September 15) experienced an 8% growth in global capacity. …4Q2022 is expected to exceed 3Q2022 capacity levels.

Stora Enso Acquires De Jong Packaging — Stora Enso recently announced that is acquiring De Jong Packaging Group, based in the Netherlands. …This acquisition will also increase Stora Enso’s corrugated packaging capacity by approximately 1,200 million m2 to more than 2,000 million m2.

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How firewood became the latest economic indicator

By John Letting
The World Economic Forum
September 27, 2022
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

In some ways the spiking demand for firewood in Europe serves as a leading economic indicator. The region’s braced for energy shortages now that a key source of supply, gas piped in from Russia, has run dry amid geopolitical friction over Ukraine – and a lack of immediate alternatives points to an uncertain state of affairs to come. In Germany, the price of “firewood, wood pellets or the like” was up 86% last month compared with the same period a year earlier. …In the Netherlands, suppliers were already running out before summer’s end. Even in Switzerland, where the inflation rate has been relatively tame, the price of firewood was up by about 26% last month. …Logs for heat and pellets for fuel are not the only wood products being impacted by geopolitics. The cost of toilet paper has spiralled in many places. More reading on wood, sustainability and energy needs, here are links to further reading…

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Pellet costs triple, logs up 20%: Firewood shortage worsens in France

By Hannah Thompson
The Connexion
September 25, 2022
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

FRANCE – Firewood shortages in France are intensifying and prices have jumped by more than 20% since June due to soaring demand, more people in the market, and fears over the price of other fuel. Firewood providers are warning that there will not be enough wood for everyone this winter. This is partly due to a sharp increase in the number of households in the market. …However, in 2022, the energy agency l’Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie (Ademe) said that the government is aiming to have 9.5 million households using woodfired energy by 2023, and 11.3 million by 2028. Gérard Fellous, director of Quality-bûches: “Over the last few weeks, Ademe has greatly promoted heating with pellets. But this has caused a significant increase in the price of wood. “Pellet prices have tripled over the past six months, leading to rises in logs and our costs.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Stora Enso and EcoTelligent partner to advance sustainable wood-based telecom towers

By Cathrine Wallenius
Stora Enso
September 29, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Within the partnership, Stora Enso and EcoTelligent Oy will establish mass timber as the material of choice for telecommunication support structures. The collaboration is set to provide an alternative that will reduce the dependency on steel and concrete in telecom masts, through sustainable towers that naturally blend in with the environment. EcoTelligent is a Finnish-based company committed to adding renewable wooden elements to communication towers. Their towers are proving to be a significant step in the transition towards more sustainable construction, integrating our community spaces with the local environment. The 5G and beyond towers will be constructed with laminated veneer lumber (LVL). LVL, in proportion to weight, is twice as strong as steel and has a high load-bearing capacity that can easily support telecommunication equipment. LVL is relatively lightweight to transport and can be assembled in modules on site without heavy-duty equipment. 

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Tauranga to be home to largest timber office building

Architecture Now
September 28, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND—Tauranga City Council’s new office building at 90 Devonport Road is set to be the largest mass timber office building in New Zealand and will target a net zero carbon footprint for the building’s construction process. Warren and Mahoney’s 90 Devonport, a 10,000m2, eight-storey, mass timber office building in Tauranga for property developer Willis Bond, is targeting a low-embodied-carbon footprint, with the use of a mass timber structure replacing traditional concrete and steel elements. …the architects are working with Willis Bond, Tauranga City Council and mana whenua to incorporate matauranga Maori principles throughout the design. Sustainable benefits are key drivers for the project. …“Mass timber construction enables the building to store more carbon than it emits during the construction phase,” adds architect Divya Purushotham, “setting a significant benchmark, particularly for the Tauranga region.”

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How sustainable building materials could help the construction sector overcome worker shortages

By Lachlan Bennett
ABC News Australia
September 27, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

TASMANIA—To some, the term “sustainability” is synonymous with higher costs … but as the construction sector grapples with severe worker shortages, going green could be a saving grace. The new St Lukes Health headquarters in Tasmania has been pitched as one of the most sustainable offices in the country, largely due to its use of engineered wood products such as cross-laminated timber and glued laminated timber, or glulam. While these products cost more than conventional materials such as concrete, St Lukes Health director of strategy Martin Rees believes they are worth it. “It’s definitely a more expensive way to construct at the moment, but the offset is that you can construct more rapidly,” he said. …Mr Rees said engineered wood products allowed builders to construct “about a floor a week” once they were “out of the ground”. …He hopes the project will serve as a proof-of-concept for others to embrace sustainable materials.

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Is Finland’s Wood City the future of building?

By Maddy Savage
BBC News
September 26, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

It smells like a lush pine forest in the lunch room of a new upper secondary school in Helsinki, but there’s no scented air freshener. Instead, most of the five-storey building has been constructed out of wood. The school won’t be completed until next year, although smooth wooden panels already line many of the interior walls. Wood has also been used in load-bearing structures, to support the ceilings between the floors, and as cladding on the exterior. “It’s a more sustainable choice,” says Miimu Airaksinen, an engineer and vice president of development at SRV, the Finnish construction company behind the school. “But we’re also working with wood because wood is a nice material, people appreciate and like wood and the design of wood.” The project is part of a growing trend in the Finnish building industry.

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How Henkel Adhesives Contribute to Green Construction

By Henkel
CSRWire
September 26, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

You are the Head of Global Engineered Wood in the Adhesive Technologies business unit at Henkel. How did this department emerge? Christian Fild: We started off as a small business 25 years ago which was later acquired by Henkel. When cross-laminated timber, a new wood-based material, entered the market, the industry was looking for a suitable adhesive. At that time, Henkel launched a very specific adhesive technology: a polyurethane adhesive for wood bonding. The technology proved to be very well-suited for wood construction, and our division has since grown a lot – particularly strongly in the last seven years, in which wooden construction has transformed from a niche product into a larger industry segment. Our formaldehyde-free polyurethane adhesives were the first ones to meet the high standards for load-bearing wood construction. Adhesives containing formaldehyde work very well, but they are also carcinogenic which is why they are used less and less.

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Tackling the hidden risk from building with wood

By Ian King, COO, Zeroignition
Engineering and Technology
September 26, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Timber is growing in popularity as a sustainable construction material, [as is] the need for fire retardants that don’t pose a threat to human health. …the fire retardants we use to protect building materials often contain dangerous toxic chemicals. Pollution from fire retardants is a major safety risk that cannot be ignored. Construction professionals must be made aware of the dangers to help protect lives and limit the environmental impacts of these harmful chemicals. This means ensuring only the safest, most sustainable options are specified for projects. …as the construction industry continues to grow, further research and technological innovations are helping to increase the availability of non-toxic, safer fire retardants. More environmentally friendly products will help to ensure the chemicals we are putting into building materials are safe, helping assure a greener, cleaner future for construction. Currently, however, there is still a long way to go.

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Forestry

Experts Sound Alarm Over ‘Growing Threat’ of Genetically Engineered Trees

By Kenny Stancil
Common Dreams
September 28, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

A report exposes the “growing threat” of genetically engineered tree development around the world, with researchers urging a leading forest product certification body to maintain its ban on genetic modification. “The global release of genetically engineered trees is close,” states the report,  by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network and the Campaign to STOP GE Trees. …The report documents where the risk of GE tree use on plantations or release into the wild is most immediate. It comes ahead of the Forest Stewardship Council’s general assembly from October 9-14 in Bali, Indonesia. …[where] members will vote on two motions that, if approved, would help preserve their prohibition on genetic modification. However, “if FSC decides to embrace genetic engineering, it will free the Brazilian pulp and paper company Suzano to begin planting its eucalyptus trees that are genetically engineered to tolerate glyphosate herbicides,” warned Lizzie Díaz of the World Rainforest Movement.

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Report finds Vic forestry watchdog lacking

By Adrian Black
Cowra Guardian Australia
October 6, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Victoria’s forestry watchdog has been labelled ineffective by academics and the Greens following a report by the state’s auditor-general. The report found gaps in key data supplied by VicForests prevented the Office of the Conservation Regulator from assessing non-compliance in the harvesting of native forests. VicForests manages the harvest, sale and regrowing of timber from state forests on behalf of the Victorian government. “While it is VicForests’, not OCR’s responsibility to collect relevant pre-harvest data, the way OCR records Forest Protection Survey Program information limits its ability to assess noncompliance,” said the report tabled in parliament on Thursday. The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office report also found the regulator’s use of enforcement powers was largely limited to warning letters and non-compliance findings, and that it lacked any procedure to probe allegations of widespread or systemic breaches in forest reports.

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Forestry sector workforce ‘chronically under-resourced’

By Gordon Davidson
The Scottish Farmer
October 4, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

With simply not enough trained workers to fill the gaps, the sector’s professional body, the Institute of Chartered Foresters, has launched a leadership programme to drive recruitment forward – but has warned that far more needs to be done if the UK is to deliver modern sustainable forestry on a large scale.  UK tree planting figures are currently falling far short of government ambitions to plant 30,000ha of trees every year by 2025 and the ICF predicts that it will be impossible to meet UK environmental goals unless the existing workforce is expanded and upskilled – for which political support, better education and funding will be vital.  …The first ever degree level forestry apprenticeship scheme was launched earlier this month by a partnership between the ICF, the Forestry Commission and Cumbria University. 

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The world must halt deforestation and use forests sustainably, FAO Director-General says

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
October 3, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Rome – The world must halt deforestation, plant trees to make the planet greener and restore productive capacities, and use forests and trees sustainably, QU Dongyu, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), today told the opening of the 26th Session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO). In his opening remarks at COFO26, Qu said the impacts of the climate crisis and humanitarian emergencies are being felt more than ever around the world, hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. …At the same time, he said there are overlapping crises from the global pandemic, economic downturns, and price increases of food, feed, fuel and fertilizer. …”Deforestation and land degradation, together with biodiversity loss, are devastating our ecosystems. This must change and stop,” Qu said. “As set out in the Seoul Declaration, forests and trees must be considered a key part of the solution.”

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Victorian government to plant 16 million trees in Gippsland to maintain state’s timber supply

By Natasha Schapova
ABC News Australia
September 29, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Victorian government is investing in a new plantation estate in Gippsland to plant millions of trees to maintain the state’s timber supply and reduce emissions. A $120 million investment will fund the plantation of 16 million trees in regional Victoria in collaboration with Hancock Victorian Plantations (HVP), who are expected to match the state government’s investment. The trees will be planted on 14,000 hectares across Gippsland … and “underpin” 2,000 new and existing jobs in regional Victoria. …In 2019, the state government announced it would cease large-scale native forest harvesting in state forests by 2030. Once approved, plantings are expected to begin next year and should lead to all harvested trees being sourced from plantations — an increase from the current 83 per cent. …HVP chief executive Stephen Ryan said the plantations would be on greenfield sites. It will be 14 years before some timber can be harvested for pulp wood, with the rest typically harvested in 25-27 years’ time. 

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Papua New Guinea’s forestry sector can generate enough revenue to run the country

The National
September 30, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

PAPUA New Guinea’s forestry sector can generate enough revenue to run the country, but needs a proper accounting system based on the updated National Forest Plan (NFP), says National Forest Service (NFS) managing director John Mosoro. He told his staff working on finalising the National Forest Development Programme (NFDP), which is a component of the NFP, to take opportunities adding that forestry was not only about timber but covered all other ecosystem services including the forest carbon stock as well. He said water was a product of the forest system and could not be discounted. “We can generate revenue from our water system, carbon accounting system, we can allocate one of our concessions purely for carbon accounting and carbon trading,” he said. “This is the kind of thinking we must have to change the forest planning process in the forestry sector.”

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Symbiotic fungi suggest biocontrol implications for pest beetles

By Nagoya University
Phys.Org
September 27, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A recent study in Japan has found that reared ambrosia beetles, Euwallacea interjectus, can have symbiotic fungi different to those found in the wild. These findings suggest biocontrol implications for pest beetles that damage valuable crop trees such as fig trees. The ambrosia beetle is an insect that drills through the bark and deep into the wood of trees. With few nutrients available in its environment, the beetle lives in symbiosis with fungi that serve as a source of food. In addition to the food fungi, however, this may also include harmful fungi, such as Ceratocystis ficicola, which can cause wilt disease of host trees. …”Our results suggest that the symbiotic relationship between insects and fungi is dynamic, providing a new perspective.” Understanding this complex symbiotic relationship of ambrosia beetles with fungi could help artificial control efforts.

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World’s central banks financing destruction of the rainforest

By Andrew Downie
The Guardian UK
September 28, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Some of the world’s biggest central banks are unwittingly helping to finance agri-business giants engaged in the destruction of the Brazilian Amazon, according to a report published on Wednesday. The Bank of England, the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are among the institutions that have bought millions of dollars in bonds issued by companies linked to deforestation and land-grabbing, according to the report Bankrolling Destruction, published by the rights group Global Witness. “Because these programmes are guaranteed by the respective governments in the UK, the US and EU Member States, this means taxpayers throughout those territories are unwittingly underwriting companies engaged in the destruction of the Amazon and other rainforests,” according to the report.

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Earlier Vic logging ban ‘would save $205m’

By Callum Godde
The Courier
September 26, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Ending native forest logging in Victoria seven years ahead of schedule would save the state an estimated $205 million over the next decade, according to independent analysis. Victoria’s Parliamentary Budget Office has crunched the numbers on the Greens’ new election policy to end native forest logging next year, instead of the 2030 deadline set by the Andrews government. Under the plan, unveiled on Tuesday ahead of the November poll, logging workers and contractors would choose between Labor’s $120m transition package or redeployment into a new emergency and disaster response team. …A $101.3m estimated fall in revenue from abolishing VicForests on January 1 next year would be offset by $306.7m in projected savings from ending government grants to the state-owned business. …Victorian Greens deputy leader Ellen Sandell said the plan would save the state money in the long run while protecting its precious forests and wildlife.

See The Greens Victoria press release: Forestry workers would form emergency response team under Greens plan

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“Forest marchers” urge government to safeguard biodiversity and carbon sinks

YLE News
September 24, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

FINLAND — Environmental groups staged marches in cities around Finland on Saturday, demanding that the government do more to preserve forest biodiversity and carbon sinks. Demonstrators gathered in Helsinki, Tampere, Jyväskylä, Oulu, Joensuu and Karjaa in Raasepori. In Helsinki, police said that 1,000-2,000 people took part in the demonstration, and that it had proceeded peacefully. …The events were co-organised by 13 NGOs, including the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, the Finnish Nature League, Greenpeace, Climate Move and Elokapina, the Finnish branch of Extinction Rebellion. In a five-point joint statement, they called on the government to do more to protect old-growth forests on state lands, to secure funding for the voluntary protection of privately owned forests, to protect 30 percent of Finland’s forests in line with the EU biodiversity strategy, to introduce a deforestation fee to secure carbon sinks and to significantly reduce logging on public lands.

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Dismay As NSW Government Pushes Ahead With Native Forest Logging

Nambucca Valley News
September 26, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia — Action to protest logging in native forests continues on the Coffs Coast, with a march in Bellingen to protest proposed logging of what activists say is over 1,500 hectares of prime native animal habitat. …The march comes on the back of the NSW Government being accused of ignoring an Upper House report into the timber industry and a petition signed by 21,000 people. The petition called for an end logging in native forests and… called for the NSW Government to conduct a cost benefit assessment of the native hardwood forestry sector and for increased investment to expand softwood and hardwood plantations in NSW. …Ms. Higginson noted that the Western Australian and Victorian governments have both taken steps to ensure that workers and communities are taken care of as the industry is phased out.

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Spike in Amazon emissions linked to law enforcement

By Matt McGrath
BBC News
September 22, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Carbon emissions in the Amazon region in 2019 and 2020 more than doubled compared to the average of the previous eight years, according to a new study. Deforestation for agriculture and fires were the main drivers of the increase, according to the authors. The scientists say that a “collapse” in law enforcement in recent years has encouraged forest clearing. The research findings have been submitted for publication but have yet to be independently reviewed. …Their new study shows that in 2019, carbon emissions increased by 89% compared to the annual average of emissions between 2010 and 2018. In 2020, the picture was even worse, with an increase of 122%. While fires played a role, the main factor was the removal of trees by land clearing, which increased by 75% in 2020. …The researchers link this rise in deforestation to a rapid decline in prosecutions by law enforcement agencies.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change made summer drought 20 times more likely

By Drew Costley
The Associated Press in the Missoulian
October 5, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

Drought that stretched across three continents this summer — drying out large parts of Europe, the United States and China — was made 20 times more likely by climate change, according to a new study. Drought dried up major rivers, destroyed crops, sparked wildfire, threatened aquatic species and led to water restrictions in Europe. It struck places already plagued by drying in the U.S., like the West, but also places where drought is more rare, like the Northeast. China also just had its driest summer in 60 years, leaving its famous Yangtze river half its normal width. Researchers from World Weather Attribution… say this type of drought would only happen once every 400 years across the Northern Hemisphere if not for human-caused climate change. Now they expect these conditions to repeat every 20 years. …With an additional 0.8 degrees C degrees warming, this type of drought will happen once every 10 years.

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Enviva Releases White Paper on the Evolution of Modern Bioenergy in Heavy Industry Verticals

By Enviva Inc.
Business Wire in the Edmonton Journal
October 3, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

BETHESDA, Maryland — Enviva, the world’s leading producer of wood biomass, published a white paper that discusses unlocking the future of biomass beyond fossil fuels into other industrial applications, including steel, cement, lime, chemicals, and sustainable aviation fuel, among others. While Enviva’s sustainably sourced biomass is predominately used today to decarbonize power and heat generation, modern biomass will increasingly be used to reduce emissions in these hard-to-abate sectors that are responsible for nearly one-third of global CO2 emissions as governments, companies, and industry endeavor to mitigate their climate change impacts through net-zero emissions goals. All sectors ‒ including energy, construction, transportation, aviation, and food systems ‒ are looking to rapidly decarbonize, and sustainably sourced biomass is the only technologically advanced, scalable, and market-ready product poised to substantially mitigate climate change and decarbonize supply chains at large.

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Biogenic Methane Issue ‘alarming’ But Forestry Helps

By New Zealand Forest Owners’ Association
Scoop Independent News
October 6, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Forest Owners Association says the highlighting of biogenic methane discharges, in a report just issued by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE), is alarming and urgently calls for forest planting solutions to buy New Zealand time. PCE, Simon Upton released a report, ‘How much forestry would be needed to offset warming from agricultural methane’. …the report reveals that the warming effect of New Zealand’s livestock methane since 1850 is greater than the combined effect of both of New Zealand’s other major greenhouse gases … in the same period. …Simon Upton says,“trees are clearly the solution we need here and now, while technology evolves to tackle emissions at source. But the problem remains that every time the tree solution is suggested we get voices campaigning against land use change.” …“Not only can forestry offer a climate solution, but it offers a viable rural industry bringing proven employment and wealth to New Zealand.”

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Energy crisis: Spaniards seek wood pellets and solar panels to heat homes

By Graham Keeley
Euronews
October 3, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

As Spaniards look towards winter, many are worried about how they will keep warm so interest in alternative forms of energy is at a premium. Wood burning pellet heaters are proving popular as are cheaper solar panels which can be fixed to houses. Javier Díaz, president of the Spanish Biofuel Association, said there had been a 40% rise in the installation of biofuel heaters since 2021. “There has been an increase in boilers or stoves that use solid biofuels such as pellets or wood chips,” he said. “The pellet heater factories cannot make them fast enough because demand is so high. They are working round the clock.” Keen to avoid paying excessive energy bills or being left without any heating at all, Spaniards are preparing for the worst. Waiting lists of up to nine months to buy wood pellets were reported last week by El Correo, a regional newspaper, as people feared shortages.

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Global carbon inequality over 1990–2019

By Lucas Chancel
Nature.com
September 29, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

All humans contribute to climate change but not equally. Here I estimate the global inequality of individual greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2019 using a newly assembled dataset of income and wealth inequality, environmental input-output tables and a framework differentiating emissions from consumption and investments. …The results presented above reveal the very highly skewed concentration of individual carbon emissions that characterizes the contemporary global economy: while one-tenth of the global population is responsible for nearly half of all emissions, half of the population emits less than 12% of it. Seen in perspective, carbon inequalities are lower than income and wealth inequalities (the global top 10% of earners captures 52% of total income and the global top 10% of wealth owners owns three-quarters of total wealth). Global carbon inequalities nonetheless remain quite large today and show no sign of clear decline despite some convergence observed between countries.

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Pioneering the first Mass Timber Carbon Removal Methodology

Timber Finance Initiative
September 28, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Seattle, Zurich – The Timber Finance Initiative, Green Canopy NODE, South Pole and Gordian Knot Strategies have joined efforts in creating the first mass timber carbon credit methodology. They are developing a globally applicable carbon credit methodology for mass timber construction in Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) GHG crediting Program. Verra will serve as the independent standard-setter for the methodology. The Working Group …will develop a concept note to be submitted to Verra’s VCS Program… later this year. The final methodology will then be developed by the Timber Finance Initiative and South Pole. A rigorous carbon methodology will help realize the climate value of stored carbon in mass timber construction and help scale mass timber as a negative emissions technology and low-emissions building material. …Sustainably sourced mass timber mitigates climate change twofold: By removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it long-term in buildings and by replacing GHG-intensive conventional building materials.

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Climate campaigner ejected from Labour event sponsored by Drax power plant firm

By Alex Lawson
The Guardian
September 27, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

An environmental campaigner has been ejected from an event sponsored by the power station operator Drax at the Labour party conference after criticising the company’s use of biomass. The owner of the North Yorkshire power station sponsored a debate on Tuesday on Britain’s net zero climate goals on the fringes of the political party’s conference in Liverpool. The company’s group director of corporate affairs, Clare Harbord, was on the panel. Climate campaigners have accused Drax of greenwashing and argue that its biomass operations, which burn wood to produce electricity, are far from green and can even increase the CO2 emissions driving the climate crisis. The talk in Liverpool was titled “Reaching net zero: how can the UK boost energy security and invest in green jobs?” Several campaigners interrupted the discussion to question Drax’s green credentials.

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Will Indonesia’s new forest pact with Norway open door to more funding?

By Michael Taylor
Thomson Reuters Foundation
September 22, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

KUALA LUMPUR – A new funding pact between Indonesia and Norway to cut carbon emissions by protecting and restoring rainforest should kick-start similar deals between the Southeast Asian country and rich nations, said green groups, which broadly back the partnership. Indonesia abruptly ended its previous accord with Norway a year ago, due to apparent disagreements and slow progress in releasing payments based on the results of work to curb forest loss. The new five-year collaboration, outlined in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) inked by ministers in Jakarta last week, will provide annual payments in line with evidence showing emissions from deforestation have been avoided or reduced through conservation efforts. …There is a risk that Indonesia’s government will curb deforestation to an extent but continue to allow some commodity-driven felling in the name of “progress”, while freezing much-needed reforms to secure indigenous peoples’ rights, he added.

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