Carbon emissions from forestry masked by government accounting, says report

By Bob Weber
The Canadian Press in CTV News
October 18, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

An analysis suggests Canada is using questionable methods to dramatically underestimate greenhouse gas emissions from the forestry industry, which it says equal those from Alberta’s oilsands in some years. “Canada is taking credit for carbon removal from vast forests that have never been logged as a way of masking emissions,” said Michael Polanyi of Nature Canada. The report was also sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council. …Federal government figures suggest carbon emissions from harvesting the “managed forest” are almost evenly balanced overall by carbon absorption from forest regrowth. NRCan has long defended its approach, saying it conforms with United Nations guidelines. But the report says the government’s calculations are misleading. The government doesn’t attribute carbon released by wildfires to industry. However, it does credit industry for carbon absorbed by forest regrowth, even if that forest has never been harvested. …The authors tried to isolate emissions directly attributable to industry using government data. 

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