Forests are crucial in the fight against climate change. They act as giant carbon vaults, storing away in their wood, leaves, mosses, and soil twice as much carbon than is found in all currently accessible oil reserves. Forests continuously add to this vault and in recent decades have absorbed nearly one-third of the greenhouse gases humans release each year. Canada’s boreal forest — which comprises a quarter of the world’s remaining untouched forests and is part of the most carbon-dense forest biome on the planet — is particularly key to achieving climate targets. But industrial logging practices are undermining the boreal forest’s value for the climate and resulting in significant annual emissions.
This report written by Jennifer Skene looks at the ways in which the Canadian logging industry has consistently downplayed its impact on the global climate, as well as on species that live in the boreal. While the federal government has shown meaningful and encouraging leadership on tackling land-based carbon emissions, there are significant policy gaps around mitigating the logging industry’s emissions and protecting untouched forests. Produced by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Environmental Defence, and Nature Canada, and support by Metcalf, this report also provides policy recommendations to help ensure existing loopholes are closed.