For release December 17, 2009
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
Canadian’s views on forest emissions drawing international media attention
Copenhagen — A Canadian conservationist is attracting media attention in Europe, the U.S. and Australia for his criticism of the attempt by developed countries to avoid accounting for greenhouse gas emissions from forestry activities in the next climate change agreement.
Chris Henschel, a senior conservation manager for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), and chair of the International Climate Action Network’s Working Group on Forestry is being sought by media ranging from The Boston Globe to Finnish television because of his assessment that developed countries, including Canada, are proposing rules for the new climate change agreement that would enable them to hideemissions caused by cutting trees within their own borders.
“It’s hard to believe and even harder to understand. We expected developed countries to come to Copenhagen with ambitions to save our planet from run-away climate change. Instead we’ve seen them aim to weaken efforts by sweeping increased logging emissions under the rug,” says Henschel.
Although an agreement may be at hand to help developing countries reduce tropical deforestation, developed countries appear to be hoping the World doesn’t notice while they go in the other direction.
Henschel has been keeping a scorecard on developed countries based on their willingness to account for actual increases in emissions from logging using a ‘historical’ baseline. So far, only France and Switzerland have received a “thumbs up” from him. Canada has received a ‘thumbs down’ for eschewing a historical baseline and planning to increaseemissions.
According to Henschel, “the proposal put forward by developed countries would allow them to increase emissions from logging by 500 megatons of carbon per year and not account for it. This increase would nearly cancel out the total emission reductions that developed countries committed to in the Kyoto Protocol.”
Henschel is praising the approach proposed by France. The French Climate Ambassador Brice Lalonde has slammed the developed countries proposal as "sloppy, even fraudulent" and France has been clashing within the EU to abandon support for it.
The proposal by developed countries for treating their forestry activities is hidden within the technical negotiations for how these countries will account foremissions from land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF).
Chris Henschel in Copenhagen, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ph: +45 5148 7341
Ellen Adelberg (613) 569-7226×234 , www.makeforestscount.org