Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 9, 2014

Opinion / Editorial

The forest industry’s vision for the future

National Newswatch
December 8, 2014
Category: Opinion / Editorial
Region: Canada

The next federal election will feature a useful debate about the role of natural resources in Canada’s economic future. Canada’s forest products industry offers a story of the innate potential of Canadians to make better products, create good jobs and improve our environment too. An international survey earlier this year reported that Canada’s forest products industry has the best environmental reputation in the world, testament to almost two decades of hard work to adapt and improve. Canada now exports forest products to more than 180 countries including China to which our exports increased 275% in the last decade. At the same time, Canada has been building a formidable story of environmental stewardship.

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Business & Politics

The false economy of Canada’s plundering of its forest resource

By Roger Annis – longtime socialist and trade union activist.
Rabble
December 8, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Climate change and environment writer Andrew Nikiforuk published an op-ed last month in the New York Times, on Nov. 17, which looked at a little-examined consequence of the Alberta tar sands–the destruction of forests in Alberta which the tar sands industry perpetrates as it tears up the earth to get at the ‘black gold’ below. Nikiforuk’s op-ed was titled, “A forest threatened by Keystone XL,” referring to that hotly contested pipeline proposal that would deliver ever-more tar sands bitumen to upgraders and refineries in the southern U.S. Nikiforuk is also a leading writer in documenting the destruction of northern forests being caused by global warming. 

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Battered Canadian forest industry impeded by regulations and red tape

The Globe and Mail
December 8, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

…As Canada’s battered forest sector battles to get back on its feet after a decade of widespread shutdowns and shrinking markets that wiped out more than 100,000 jobs, the common cry across the industry is the need for it to work together with governments to reduce costs and improve competitiveness, if Canada is going to compete in new products in international markets. And the starting point, many say, is to address the red tape that pushes up costs and constrains access to some of the country’s best wood, the basis of the entire business. “The key is access, not [just] to fibre, but to low-cost fibre,” says Frank Dottori, the founder of forest products heavyweight Tembec Inc., who recently came out of retirement to buy a small sawmill in White River, Ont.

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Vancouver’s Ainsworth Lumber bought out by Norbord in $763m deal

Business in Vancouver
December 8, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver’s Ainsworth Lumber is merging with a fellow Canadian lumber giant in a deal worth $763 million. Toronto-based Norbord Lumber announced December 8 it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire all the B.C. company’s outstanding common shares. Ainsworth shareholders will receive 0.1321 of a Norbord share for each of their respective shares, representing a 15% premium to Ainsworth’s average stock price over the past 20 days. As of press time, Ainsworth stock jumped 9.9% to $3.28 following the announcement Monday. …Both Ainsworth and Norbord specialize in oriented strand board (OSB), a type of engineered particleboard used in construction.

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Closure of Ladysmith mill is somewhat ironic

Letter by Ruth Matson
Nanaimo Daily News
December 8, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cassidy – Re: ‘WFP announces Ladysmith mill to be closed indefinitely’ (Daily News, Dec. 5) How sad, as one of our local sawmills (Ladysmith) closes at Christmas, putting approximately 70 individuals out of work, albeit temporarily or not. How ironic, as the log ships that were just at Nanaimo Docks each loaded with more than 700 logging truck loads of our trees for off shore (China or USA) processing. You will say but we have the free/open trade markets now. I struggle with the imbalance.

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Lakeland Mills sawmill reopening brings back painful memories of fatal explosion

CBC News
December 8, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lakeland Mills sawmill is reopening in Prince George, B.C. two years after an explosion and fire that engulfed the facility, killing two people and injured 24 others. The company was fined $724,000 by WorkSafeBC this July and are appealing the decision, but no criminal charges were ever laid in the deaths of Alan Little, 43, and Glenn Roche, 46, because of concerns over the admissibility of WorkSafeBC evidence. Two years after the explosion, the mill has been entirely rebuilt and opened this week. For Bruce Germyn, whose face was severely burned in the fire, it all brings back painful memories. 

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Iroquois Falls copes with closure of major employer, Resolute Forest Products

CBC News
December 8, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The community of Iroquois Falls is trying to figure out what to do now that its largest employer is leaving. In two weeks, Resolute Forest Products will shut down its newsprint mill. The company said a decline in the demand for newsprint, as well as attacks from environmental groups, is to blame. The company said the closure will mean about 180 employees will lose their jobs. Dale Roman’s husband is among those workers, and she characterized the mill as the fabric that stitches the community together. “It’s also losing a part of yourself when it’s been part of you, part of your community,” she said.

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Tembec and Unifor sign tentative agreement to end Quebec strike

Canadian Press
December 9, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Tembec and Unifor have signed a tentative agreement aimed at ending a strike that began Nov. 26 at its lumber mill in Temiscaming, Que. Tembec (TSX:TMB) says the 650 unionized employees at the facility will vote on the four-year agreement Wednesday. The forest products company also said the bargaining committee for Unifor Local 233 intends to recommend unanimously that its members approve the deal. Tembec said it would not comment on the agreement until the workers vote.

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Union to recommend Memorandum of Agreement to renew Collective Agreement at Tembec Temiscaming Site

Canada Newswire press release
December 8, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tembec and Unifor Local 233 have signed a Memorandum of Agreement and a Return to Work Protocol towards the settlement of the Collective Agreement at its Temiscaming Site, Quebec. On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, the 650 unionized employees will vote on the four-year agreement that the Union negotiation committee intends to recommend unanimously. The Company will not comment on the Agreement until the Union membership has had the opportunity to vote. The Temiscaming, Quebec industrial complex, which employs 850 people, comprises four main facilities manufacturing specialty pulp, high-yield pulp, multi-ply coated bleached board, phenolic resins and lignosulfonates.

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Resolute denies link to mill closure and dam sale

Timmins Press
December 9, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

n official with Resolute Forest Products denies any connection between the Iroquois Falls paper mill closing and the sale of the Abitibi River power dams four years ago. In 2010, when the provincial government approved of the sale of the dams by AbitibiBowater, which later became Resolute, local politicians predicted the sell-off would lead to the closure of the mill in Iroquois Falls. Seth Kursman, vice-president of corporate communications, sustainability and government affairs with Resolute, told The Daily Press the sale of the dams was not a factor in their decision

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Port Angeles’ Nippon mill announces ‘curtailment’ at one of its two paper machines

Peninsula Daily News
December 8, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES — An official at Nippon Paper Industries USA’s paper mill in Port Angeles this evening announced the curtailment of one of the company’s two paper machines effective Friday. “Restart of the paper machine will occur when the economic conditions improve enough to justify resumption of operations,” mill Manager Steve Johnson said in a 5:02 p.m. email to the Peninsula Daily News. No restart date has been scheduled, he said.

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Empire Editorial: Sealaska land deal should move forward

Juneau Empire
December 7, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

It’s time for the federal government to fulfill its promise. On Dec. 17, 1971, President Nixon signed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act into law. ANCSA, as it was known, called for the distribution of 40 million acres to Native villages and regional corporations created by the act. Almost 43 years since Nixon put pen to paper, many Native groups are still waiting for their land. Among them is Sealaska, the regional Native corporation for Southeast Alaska. A measure now working its way through the U.S. Congress promises to fulfill the final land selection of Sealaska, which will receive 70,000 acres of Tongass National Forest land on Prince of Wales Island and other islands in Southeast Alaska.

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Mill operator lacks workers for new jobs

Wallowa County Chieftan
December 7, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

WALLOWA – David Schmidt and wife Jesse have worked years to develop an avant-garde, economically viable, non-traditional lumber mill where small diameter logs previously thought to have no value now are being turned into marketable products. A driving force behind their efforts from the outset has been a desire to create jobs in an economically depressed area.  But now, having thought they had turned the corner, the Schmidts are experiencing a new challenge they had no way to anticipate: Family-wage jobs requiring no previous experience are remaining unclaimed.

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Georgia-Pacific Announces $6 Million Investment At Thorsby, Alabama, Engineered Lumber Operations

PR Newswire
December 8, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Georgia-Pacific today announced an investment of approximately $6 million at its Thorsby, Alabama, engineered lumber operations to expand production capacity of laminated veneer lumber (LVL). In a move that positions the facility for long-term success, improvements include upgrading the press system’s lay-up line and veneer sheet feeders, as well as increasing overall veneer dryer capacity and efficiency. Project completion is expected by the second quarter of 2015.

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Log exports prompt $12m port expansion

Yahoo New Zealand News
December 9, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A dramatic growth in the number of logs being exported from Gisborne is driving a $12 million expansion at Eastland Port. Work on increasing the size of the port’s upper log yard by 1.3 hectares will begin next month. Construction will take around six months and when finished the port will have 12.2 hectares of log storage. Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd said log export volumes have grown from 350,000 tonnes in 2005 to 2.3 million tonnes in 2014.

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Hardwood pulp prices continue upward trend

EUWID
December 9, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Early December revealed that many market players were right about the forecasts they had made at the end of November for monthly contracts in Europe: Hardwood pulp prices continued to increase this month. Hardwood pulp prices are pointing upwards again in December. Ever since the trend has reversed on the hardwood pulp market at the end of the third quarter, suppliers are doing whatever it takes to defend the gains.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Los Angeles fire: Officials estimate damage to complex at $10M

Associated Press
December 8, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A raging fire that may have been intentionally set Monday destroyed a massive apartment complex under construction in downtown Los Angeles, sending up flames that were visible for miles while raining ash on a large area and snarling rush-hour traffic. It was one of two destructive early morning fires in the city. The other heavily damaged a building that houses multiple businesses in a neighbourhood a couple miles away.More than 250 firefighters fought the downtown blaze that was sparked around 1:20 a.m. at a block-long building site, Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said. Flames consumed the seven-story, wood-framed structure and scorched adjacent high-rises before being brought under control within 90 minutes.

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Softwood lumber prices have trended downward in the US, Russia and Japan this fall, while they have gone up in China and the Nordic countries

Wood Resources International LLC
Market Watch
December 8, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Prices for softwood lumber imported to China increased this fall, while they fell in Japan as the housing market weakened. In the US, lumber prices were moving downward in the 3Q, while still being close to their highest levels in ten years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. In the Nordic countries and Russia, lumber exports have increased because of higher demand for wood in key markets in Europe and the MENA countries. Demand for softwood lumber has been steadily increasing on a worldwide basis since the great recession. The higher consumption of lumber has resulted in a rise in the global trade of lumber with shipments in 2014 on pace to be the highest since 2007, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). 

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Improved fire resistance leads to wood-building resurgence

The Japan News
December 9, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

More high wooden buildings, including a five-story apartment building and a four-story commercial building, are being built in urban areas thanks to the development of wood products with improved fire resistance. Amid growing environmental concerns, wooden building materials with fire retardant properties are also expected to make valuable use of domestic timber resources harvested in the periodic logging of forests. A five-story apartment building was built in September last year in a residential area of Setagaya Ward, Tokyo. 

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Forestry

Three B.C. plants declared endangered by federal panel of scientists

By Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun
December 8, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Three B.C. plants have been declared endangered by a federal advisory panel of scientists. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada said in its annual conservation review released Monday that while the limber pine tree can live up to 1,000 years, populations in B.C. and Alberta are undergoing sharp declines due mainly to spread of white pine blister rust. The non-native disease was first detected on limber pine in 2006. Mountain pine beetle and climate change pose additional threats. The pine is restricted to high elevations in the western foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

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Christmas trees on Crown land: what you need to know

CBC News
December 8, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you live in B.C., you can skip the Christmas tree lot or garden centre, and cut down a tree for free on Crown land – subject to particular rules and restrictions. “We encourage people to go out and have a good time, but really to be aware of safety,” Heather Rice, a forest health officer with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations told the CBC’s Daybreak South. The Christmas Tree Permit can be printed online, or obtained in a Ministry office. 

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Town now fighting to preserve its wood supply

Timmins Press
December 8, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada


IROQUOIS FALLS – Iroquois Falls Mayor Michael Shea is fighting to preserve the area’s wood supply with the impending closure of the town’s paper mill. …“It’s a very huge issue and that’s something we have to stand up on for
sure,” Shea said. “That’s at the top of our priorities. The woodlots
could potentially become ours. That’s not a yes or a no but it is
certainly something that we have to fight to the best we can to ensure
we acquire those. If we want to attract future industry and if
(Resolute) keeps the forest rights, that’s not to our advantage. I hope
Premier Kathleen Wynne recognizes that. If we can’t get access to wood
rights, it is certainly hard to promote future industry.”

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Sealaska land transfer includes logging, energy, cemetery sites

Ktoo
December 8, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Legislation transferring tens of thousands of acres of the Tongass National Forest to the regional Native corporation Sealaska will supply timber and other economic development opportunities for the corporation. The bill also will set up new conservation areas in Southeast and transfer traditional historic sites and migration routes. The version of the legislation that’s been attached to a defense bill has undergone revisions during a multi-year process.

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Elliott State Forest options no longer include privatization (updated)

The Oregonian
December 8, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As the State Land Board prepares to meet Tuesday morning to discuss the Elliott State Forest, environmentalists and outdoor sporting groups are breathing a sigh of relief in the contentious battle over the forest’s fate. Although the prospect of auctioning the entire 93,000-acre forest to the highest bidder was among solutions studied in a recent report, the land board won’t consider it. “That’s not a scenario we’re putting forth,” said Julie Curtis, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of State Lands. Groups including Trout Unlimited, the Sierra Club, Cascadia Wildlands and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers lauded the news.

Oregon drops idea of selling Elliott State Forest from The Associated Press

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Groups want public lands bills pulled from defense act

Great Falls Tribune
December 8, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A coalition of 47 environmental organizations called on U.S. senators Monday to remove public lands riders from a defense bill, criticizing what they described as a “kitchen-sink” approach to conservation. Several public lands proposals in several states including Montana have been attached to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2015. The House approved the bill Wednesday. The Senate is expected to vote later this week. Greenpeace, WildEarth Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity, the Western Watersheds Project and a handful of Montana-based groups sent a letter to senators Monday urging them to remove the natural resources related provisions from the defense act.

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Federal lands transfer could cost Idaho millions

Associated Press
December 8, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — Taking control of federal public lands in Idaho could cost the state $111 million a year, a new report shows. The study by the University of Idaho’s Policy Analysis Group found the state could lose millions of dollars in eight of nine different scenarios involving such a transfer. Researchers compared various financial benefits for the state’s timber industry to increased costs connected with management of the land. The report was requested by a legislative committee tasked under a resolution known as HR22 with studying a state takeover of federal lands in Idaho. The panel will finalize its recommendation Tuesday.

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O&C legislation: Wyden’s bill needs to pass (Letters to the Editor)

The Oregonian
December 7, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wyden’s O&C legislation: I am a filmmaker who has spent a number of years documenting salmonid populations along the West Coast. It is clear to me that Oregon’s O&C Lands are holding together what is left of salmon-sustaining ecosystems. The majority of these lands are in the headwaters of rivers that have some of the most stable wild populations of steelhead and salmon left on the West Coast. O&C lands are a sanctuary for our fragile, wild populations of salmon and steelhead, and provide clean drinking water to many Oregon cities.

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Timber Economics

Letter By Owen Graham
Sit News
December 8, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Let’s talk about real timber economics. For years we have been listening to various environmental groups and others talk about Tongass timber sale subsidies. The reality is there are none; no matter how many times the falsehood is repeated. If the federal government provides billions in wind production tax credits; that’s a subsidy. When corn farmers and ethanol producers receive billions in tax credits and have their products supported with an ethanol gas mandate; that’s also a subsidy. However, if a local lumber yard or an appliance store spends more money selling lumber or appliances than it receives, that does not mean their customers are subsidized; it just means that the lumber yard or appliance store will soon go broke.

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Nature Conservancy’s 2,538-acre land purchase conserves rain forest on Clearwater River in Jefferson County

Peninsula Daily News
December 8, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Nature Conservancy has purchased nearly 4 square miles of Jefferson County forestland along the Clearwater River from Fruit Growers Supply Co. The 2,538-acre sale, which closed last Wednesday, is part of an initiative to increase salmon populations, promote sustainable economies and restore temperate rain forest along coastal salmon streams, officials said last week. Combined with earlier acquisitions, The Nature Conservancy is now managing nearly 8,000 acres of forestlands along the Queets and Clearwater rivers in West Jefferson County.

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Dead Trees cut down after pine beetles do damage (& video)

Trees as wide as 138 feet included in losses
kotatv.com
December 8, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Custer, S.D. – Its as easy as one, two, three. For Frank Carroll and Brian Brennan, the number of trees falling victim to the mountain pine beetle are starting to add up. “This is the biggest scale they’ve attacked that we know about,” Carroll said. When it comes to prevention of the beetle attacks, Carroll says there isn’t much that people can do about it. “Really nothing, you can thin you can spray trees in your own yard, open up the forest, and all those things help a lot,” Carroll said. But the beetles wont slow down. According to Carroll the black hills has averaged nearly 5 million trees lost per year due to the beetles.

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Community group buy entire Aigas Forest

Aberdeen Journal
December 9, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

An entire north forest has been bought by a community group thanks to a major chunk of funding from the Scottish Land Fund of £519,000. This means the 706 acres Aigas Forest has been bought for a total of £740,000 by Aigas Community Forest, who will now take up management of the woods from the Forestry Commission. It follows an original award of £221,000 made back in January 2014 to purchase a smaller area of land of 121 acres. Aigas Forest is adjacent to Crask of Aigas near Beauly, with the purchase being made under the National Forest Land Scheme, will see the whole forest developed and managed to provide a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits.

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Man chains himself to bulldozer in Helms Forest in protest against logging

ABC News Australia
December 9, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A protester has been arrested after chaining himself to a bulldozer in the Helms Forest near the WA South West town of Nannup in a bid to prevent the start of a long planned logging project. The WA Forest Alliance, which was staging the protest, said preparations to log the forest began on Friday. Spokeswoman Jess Beckerling has told the ABC a male protester was arrested after locking himself onto the equipment yesterday, just after it had started working to create a road into the forest. Ms Beckerling claimed the logging could endanger local populations of birds, including the threatened Carnaby’s cockatoo, as well as the Baudin’s and red-tailed black cockatoo species.

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“Dragons” urge youth to take the reins of power and solve forestry and agriculture problems

CIFOR Blog
December 8, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Young people in forestry don’t want to be thought of as the ‘future’ but be involved in important discussions and listened to in the present, was the message from a youth session at the Global Landscapes Forum in Lima, Peru. “I’m tired of hearing the young generation are the future,” said Florent Kaiser, former president of the International Forestry Students Association, in his opening address. “Why? Because it implies that group is marginal. We tend to be involved in these decision-making processes because youth is ‘colorful,’ youth is ‘dynamic.’ “But actually what we require is to be seriously and honestly involved at the centre of the processes.” At the youth session, 100 young people under 30 – along with 50 senior professionals – divided into groups to discuss key issues in forestry and brainstorm innovative ideas for integrated land use.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

B.C. must not undo low-carbon-fuel standards

Globe and Mail
December 8, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Once upon a time, British Columbia was known for the enlightened path it was forging in the fight against climate change. The province’s leader, Gordon Campbell, had become best friends forever with an unlikely environmental crusader from California – Arnold Schwarzenegger. …Mr. Campbell has since left provincial politics and any enthusiasm the government had for being an environmental leader appears to have left with him. Few believe B.C. will meet its emissions goal in the next six years, especially in light of its grand plans for a booming natural gas industry. Now, Energy Minister Bill Bennett is conducting a review of the government’s low-carbon-fuel requirements, ones that gasoline and diesel suppliers have never much liked.

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COP20 host Peru claims forest ‘leadership’ – while attacking forest protectors

The Ecologist
December 8, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Peru’s government is actively undermining indigenous peoples’ efforts to protect their forests – by refusing to title 20 million hectares of their lands and turning a blind eye to illegal logging. At the same time it’s handing out vast concessions for oil, gas, mining and timber exploitation, expanding palm oil production and planning 50 major forest-flooding dams. As negotiators arrive at a crucial UN conference on climate change, a new report shows that, despite public commitments to protect Peru’s forests, the first Amazonian host of the UN COP is parcelling out vast areas of forest for destructive exploitation. At the same time it’s failing to safeguard the rights of the main forest protectors – Peru’s indigenous peoples

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The Energy Boom You Haven’t Heard About: Wood Pellets

It’s feeding Europe’s energy needs, but how green is burning wood?
National Geographic
December 8, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Deep in the forests of the U.S. South, tree scraps are fueling a little-known but controversial energy boom: wood pellets. Long used to heat homes in the country’s Northeast, they’re now destined for a new market. Europe is importing the pellets in ever higher volumes, burning them for electricity to meet renewable energy targets. The demand has transformed the U.S. industry, prompting a doubling of biomass exports last year. More than half of the exports go to the United Kingdom, where the utility Drax is converting three of its six power plants to burn wood pellets instead of coal. Drax is setting up shop in the U.S. to feed those plants, building two pellet mills in Louisiana and Mississippi that are slated to open next year.

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Bianca Jagger Defends Forests With Powerful Speech At Climate Change Talks

Business Insider
December 8, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

[The] wife of a world-famous rock star, Bianca Jagger has committed much of the past 30 years of her life to advancing causes associated with human rights and environmental protection in the developing world. …Jagger said the United States, along with countries such as Rwanda, Costa Rica, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guatemala have already committed to restore some 51 million hectares of forests by 2020 as part of the Bonn Challenge. She lauded large-scale restoration efforts in China and Brazil, too. “It is true that governments have not come forward to do what is necessary,” Jagger said. “It is true that we don’t have a legally binding treaty now. But if we can continue with initiatives like the Bonn Challenge, we would see a difference. Forests are essential to our future.”

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Deforestation cuts into climate change goals

Reuters UK
December 8, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Mines, palm oil plantations, large farms and mining projects are contributing to an alarming pace of forest destruction, a new report has found, hampering efforts to curb global warming. Satellite imagery indicates that more than 30,000 hectares of forest are lost daily, said the report “Securing Forests, Securing Rights”, launched in Peru on Monday by a coalition of rights groups during international climate change talks. Forests play a key role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; chopping them down worsens global warming.

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