Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 17, 2015

Business & Politics

North American forest products rail freight drops 5.8% in latest week

PPI Magazine
December 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

OAKLAND, CA — North American forest products railroad freight was down 5.8% in the latest week ending Dec. 12, 2015, to 17,466 carloads, the Assn of American Railroads reported. Volume through 49 weeks of the year at 913,474 carloads was 0.3% below the same period of 2014. US forest products rail shipments in the week were down 10%, Canada was up 0.5% and the small Mexico volume was 39.1% lower. Year-to-date, US forest products carloads were down 3.1%, Canada was up 4%, and Mexico was down 24.6% from 2014. AAR showed total North American carloads were down 11.9% in the week and 5.2% lower year-to-date. 

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Letter: Growers need log exports

By Rod Bealing, executive director, Private Forest Landowners Association
The Province
December 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

What the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is really saying when it calls for a ban on log exports is that the people who grows trees should subsidize the people who mill them. Right now, B.C. mills have the right-of-first refusal on B.C. logs. This would not be an issue if domestic log buyers paid the true market price. That is not the case. The domestic price is a fraction of the international price. It is set by a contrived mechanism that holds log producers hostage with no reference to free market prices. What the CCPA fails to appreciate is that a log export ban would kill the independent coastal mill sector. Without the value generated from log exports, there would be no logs available to third-party domestic mills. [to read the full story you have to scroll part way down the full page of letters to the editor, this story does not have a unique URL]

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Pictou pulp mill says its stacks are finally ‘in compliance’

CBC News
December 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Northern Pulp says air pollution from the stacks at its pulp mill in Pictou County are now fully below environmental thresholds established by the Nova Scotia government. “We are in compliance and we intend to stay there,” general manager Bruce Chapman told CBC News on Wednesday.  In October, the provincial government ordered the mill to produce an action plan to reduce particulate from its power boiler after tests detected 190 milligrams per cubic metre of particulate. The power boiler limit in its operating permit was 150. Northern Pulp said tests in mid-November found 111 milligrams per cubic metre.

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Columbia Forest Products to reopen Rutherglen Hardwood Veneer Plant

The facility was shut down back in 2010.
Bay Today
December 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Some good economic news today. Citing improving markets for rotary hardwood veneer in North America, Gary Gillespie, Vice President of Columbia Forest Products’ Northern Operations, announced this week that Columbia is in the intermediate stages of preparing for a reopening the company’s plant in Rutherglen. The facility was shut down back in 2010.  Officials say the facility was a victim of economic downturn and the dramatic increase of imports of birch-faced panels from China into the United States and Canada.

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Merry Christmas Rutherglen, mill reopening

Northern Ontario Business
December 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Columbia Forest Products is reopening its Rutherglen veneer mill, east of North Bay, after a five-year shutdown. Gary Gillespie, vice-president of Columbia’s Northern Operations, announced Dec. 15 that Columbia is in the “intermediate stages” of preparations to reopening the shuttered veneer facility, which closed in 2010 in the face of imports from China, a strong Canadian dollar, and a major downtown in the forest products industry. Seventy employees lost their jobs. “We have been anxiously awaiting the moment when we could announce that it was time to fire up the boilers and bring folks back to work at the Rutherglen facility,” said Gillespie in a news release.

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KapStone to curtail operations at its Longview mill

Pulp & Paper
December 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Due to seasonally softer market conditions KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation is announcing that due to seasonally softer market conditions, it will temporarily curtail operations at its Longview Mill beginning Monday, Dec. 21 at 7:00 a.m. The curtailment is expected to last seven days for the entire mill and will be extended an additional two days for certain product grades and paper machines. No other KapStone mill location will be taking market-related downtime during this period. This measure will not affect customer orders and service.

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Weyerhaeuser to close St. Paul distribution center

TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
December 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Weyerhaeuser Co. will close its St. Paul distribution center during the first quarter of 2016, laying off its 17 employees. The Federal Way, Wash.-based wood and paper products manufacturer announced the shutdown Nov. 17, spokesperson Nancy Thompson said. The company will also shutter distribution centers in three other cities as part of a larger move to refocus on growing markets, Thompson said. The St. Anthony Park distribution center is the company’s only location in the Twin Cities, she said.

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Budget bill stuffed with millions more for Western needs

Statesman Journal
December 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON – The annual spending bill negotiated by congressional leaders is stuffed with millions in additional funding for Western needs, such as fighting wildfires, fixing national parks and helping deal with the drought. In addition, a companion bill would extend tax breaks for solar and wind power. Both bills are expected to be approved by the House and Senate in the next few days. The budget legislation would fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. It would reauthorize the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund for three years and appropriate $450 million for the fund to be spent through the Department of Interior and the Forest Service.

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Biewer Lumber Plans to Invest $85 Million to Expand Operations in the South

Woodworking Network
December 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NEWTON, MS — Biewer Lumber, a producer of lumber products for building construction and secondary wood manufacturing, will invest $85 million to open a new plant in Newton, MS, creating approximately 125 jobs. Construction of the state-of-the-art sawmill is expected to begin in the spring of 2016 with production starting in early 2017, the company says. “Adding the Newton sawmill to our production capabilities will allow us to better serve our existing customers and to expand our customer base geographically. We are pleased to be locating our new mill in Mississippi, with its abundance of timber, available workforce, and its friendly business environment,” said Biewer Lumber Owner Timothy Biewer.

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Vida taking over Moelven’s Nössemark mill

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
December 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Swedish Vida will be taking over the recently closed-down Swedish sawmill Nössemark Trä from the Norwegian Moelven group on 30 December. After lengthy negotiations, Vida concluded a corresponding purchase agreement with Moelven on 14 December. According to information from CEO Santhe Dahl, Vida is going to invest roughly SEK250-300m in enlarging the sawmill in the coming 18 months. A new saw line for cutting smaller-diameter logs and geared to an annual production capacity of 150,000 m³ of spruce and pine lumber is being installed to start with; lumber production is then scheduled to be resumed in the third quarter of 2016.

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Global trade of softwood lumber likely to reach the highest level since 2006 this year

IHB The Timber Network
December 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Despite occasional gloomy reports from the sawmilling industry around the world this year, softwood lumber trade increased during the first nine months of 2015 as compared to the same period in 2014. It should also be noted that global trade in 2015 will likely reach its highest level since 2006. North America – Lumber production in North America has been trending upwards ever since the Global Financial Crises (GFC) in 2008 when the lumber market crashed. ….Northern Europe – Both Finland and Sweden have exported more lumber during the first eight months this year than during the same period last year. Export prices, in US dollar terms, have fallen dramatically, making the Nordic lumber producers more competitive in markets trading lumber in US dollars. …Japan – During the first nine months of 2015, lumber importation to Japan was eight percent lower than during the same period in 2015. 

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Segezha to boost sack kraft paper capacity

EUWID Pulp and Paper
December 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Russia’s Segezha Group is set to increase sack kraft paper capacities by 2017. The company has tapped Voith for the delivery of a new 110,000 tpy paper machine. Segezha Group, part of Russian conglomerate AFK Sistema, is investing in new production capacity at Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill. The company has placed an order with Voith for the delivery of a new sack kraft paper machine. Segezha puts the value of the order at more than €80m.

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Peak mining body wants militant unions deregistered

The West Australian
December 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The peak mining body has called for deregulation of two militant unions if they proceed with proposals for a nationwide strike to protest individual fines for workers. The Australian Mines and Metals Association called on the Federal Government to deregister the Maritime Union of Australia and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Unions if they organise a national stoppage. The secretaries of both unions claim there is growing support for a national strike to protest long-standing legislation that levied fines of up to $10,800 on individual construction workers involved in unlawful industrial action. “If they organise illegal industrial action to bring the country to a halt, then clearly that is the trigger for government to deregulate both unions,” said AMMA chief executive Steve Knott.

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Union attacks Visy mill safety

ProPrint
December 16, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Visy Paper Mill, based in Tumut, NSW is under fire again regarding concerns for employee safety after a number of incidents and near misses. The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says Safe Work NSW must step in and carefully scrutinise the work practise at the Visy paper mill before ‘someone is killed or seriously injured’. According to the CFMEU, a string of incidents including collapses of internal roofing and a number of electrical shocks experienced by employees are the primary reasons behind concerns. The union also alleges other employees have suffered broken bones and minor injuries while performing tasks at the Southern NSW-based mill. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Saskatoon the latest city to allow tall wood structures

Journal of Commerce
December 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Saskatoon building standards will allow six storey wood frame construction in early 2016, when the 2015 National Building Code of Canada (NBC) is formally printed. The building code currently limits wood frame construction to a maximum of four storeys. Saskatoon the latest city to allow tall wood structures… The process is supported by the 2015 NBC framework – in advance of anticipated adoption by the Province of Saskatchewan in mid-2017. “This change provides a new opportunity to create beneficial, cost-effective midrise options between the current lowrise and highrise development,” said Fagnou. “Other jurisdictions have reported cost savings of $30 to $40 per square foot, or up to 20 per cent, when compared to a similar building built with steel and concrete.”

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City to Allow Permits for Taller Wood Frame Buildings

Saskatoon Homepage
December 16, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Starting in 2016, businesses in Saskatoon will be able to get permits for six storey wood frame buildings. Currently, wood frame construction is limited to four stories. Building Standards Director Kara Fagnou says there’s a growing interest from customers to build six storey structures for commercial or residential buildings, rather than traditional steel or concrete materials. She says over the past 4 years, they have received 3 to 4 calls a year from developers who want to build wood frame six storey buildings. Fagnou says the changes could create “beneficial, cost effective mid-rise options”. 

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Malaysian timber products get thumbs up

The Star Online
December 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

TIMBER certification is an effective tool in helping Malaysian timber and timber-related companies create a competitive market position for their products as well as improve market access and brand image. This was confirmed through the positive feedback from trade visitors and large retailers at the Malaysian Timber Certification Council’s (MTCC) participation in two major trade expos in Germany recently. “The Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) demonstrates not only that Malaysian tropical forests are managed sustainably, but that it also responds to the demand by international market for responsibly-sourced timber products.

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Forestry

Resolute Responds to Misleading Statements Regarding the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Final Order for Countervailing Duties on Supercalendered Paper from Canada

Canada News Wire
December 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Resolute Forest Products Inc. responds to misleading media statements by third parties regarding the U.S. Department of Commerce’s final order for countervailing duties on supercalendered paper from Canada. Contrary to those misleading media statements, the Department of Commerce found countervailable subsidies during its investigation only at the Port Hawkesbury mill in Nova Scotia. The Department did not find countervailable subsidies to the manufacture, production or export of supercalendered paper by Resolute Forest Products.

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FSC launches mediation in Canada to ensure responsible forest management

FSC Canada Newsroom
December 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) International is convening a mediation process to bring together stakeholders in a spirit of collaboration, to address issues raised recently in Canada, particularly in Quebec and in Ontario, about FSC certification. Over the last two years, significant areas of FSC certified forests were suspended in Canada mainly because of lack of consent from First Nations, and also because of inadequate forest management plans for species at risk, namely woodlands caribou in the Canadian boreal forest. Most of these suspended or terminated FSC certificates are held by Resolute Forest Products (Resolute FP). Based on a continued lack of dialogue between Resolute FP and its stakeholders, FSC believes that this mediation will lead to constructive solutions and restore trust between First Nations, unions, communities, environmental groups and Resolute FP.

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Forest Service likely to get more money to fight wildfires, at least for a year

Los Angeles Times
December 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Late last summer, with wildfires burning throughout the West and the U.S. Forest Service announcing yet again that it would have to borrow money to fight them, lawmakers from the region vowed that this would be the year Congress fixed the funding problem and found ways to make forests more resilient against fire. Sure enough, there it was early this week — a proposed solution attached to the omnibus budget bill lawmakers now appear poised to pass. The measure was backed by the White House, several Western senators of both parties, timber industry leaders and some conservation groups. But by Wednesday morning, after congressional leaders announced a final version of the budget bill, the provisions changing how firefighting is funded and forests are protected were gone.

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Who’s In The Mix To Buy Oregon’s Elliott State Forest?

Oregon Public Broadcasting
December 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The state of Oregon is looking for a buyer for the Elliott State Forest, and more than 40 groups have come forward saying they want to be part of a deal. They all had to notify the Department of State Lands by close of business Tuesday.  “We think this was a great response,” says Elliott Project Manager John Potter.  The groups represent a wide range of interests – from timber harvesters to conservation groups, local governments and Indian tribes. The Elliott State Forest is in the Coast Range outside of Coos Bay. The forest has large areas of older trees – prime habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet and spotted owl.  

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Saving A Reservoir

Payson Roundup
December 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The rare, collaborative effort to protect Payson’s water supply by thinning the overgrown forest on the 64,000-acre watershed to the C.C. Cragin Reservoir got a boost this summer from a surprising source — wildfires. Now, the Coconino National Forest has nearly completed an innovative, fast-track environmental assessment of the groundbreaking project, which it will release in January for public comment. The Town of Payson, Salt River Project, the National Forest Foundation and the Forest Service have joined forces for the landmark project, the leading project in the Southwest as part of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act. “As a municipal watershed, this has a little bit of a special status,” said Payson Water Manager Buzz Walker. 

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Wildfires: Congress can’t reach deal on Forest Service’s fire funding problem

The Oregonian
December 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A potential deal to fix the U.S. Forest Service’s chronic wildfire funding problem collapsed Wednesday in Congress. The lack of action means the Forest Service continues to face the prospect of cannibalizing its budget to fight wildfires while having fewer resources to reduce fire danger in the first place. Negotiators did agree to give the agency more money for the upcoming fire season, but all bets are off after that. The deal, which also included several forest management changes aimed at increasing timber harvests on federal land, was scuttled in part because of opposition from several environmental groups. 

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Genome sequencing may save sugar pine tree

Davis Enterprise
December 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The genome of California’s legendary sugar pine, which naturalist John Muir declared to be “king of the conifers” more than a century ago, has been sequenced by a research team led by UC Davis scientists. At 10 times the size of the human genome, the sugar pine genome is the largest ever sequenced for any organism. It is expected to provide valuable information that may help preserve the iconic but imperiled tree. “Having the genome sequence allows us to discover the underlying genetic determinants of disease resistance, which will greatly facilitate reforestation efforts,” said professor and principal investigator David Neale, a UCD forest tree geneticist. “We can now give forest managers modern, rapid genetic tools to identify resistant trees.”

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Rare carnivores: Researchers seek improved coordination on wolverines, lynx, fishers

Helena Independent Record
December 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wolverines, Canada lynx and fishers. Every winter, biologists trek into remote reaches of western states to survey and study these rare forest carnivores in an effort to learn about populations and where they call home. Those studies have realized some impressive results in documenting occupied and vacant landscapes, as well as genetic information and stunning photographs. …Idaho Fish and Game biologist Joel Sauder is lookingto creative ways to fund monitoring of rare species by leveraging funding from abundant species. As Idaho looks to keep costs of monitoring game herds down with projects such as motion-activated camera surveys, those efforts can also detect rare species, he said.

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‘System failed’ two Victorian firefighters killed by falling tree in Harrietville blaze, coroner rules

ABC News Australia
December 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Emergency management systems failed in the lead up to the deaths of two firefighters in Victoria’s north-east almost three years ago, a coroner has found. Steven Kadar, 34, and Katie Peters, 19, died when a 30-metre-tall tree fell on their truck in strong winds in the Buckland Valley near Harrietville in February 2013. The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) employees were back-burning, as part of fighting a larger bushfire, when a storm cell hit the area. Coroner John Olle found no one individual was to blame for the deaths. However he said different people working on the fire had information that, if collated, may have led to the crew being withdrawn from the area earlier.

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Anger over Forestry Tasmania moves to start logging Lapoinya forest

ABC News Australia
December 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Logging opponents have lashed out at Forestry Tasmania’s decision to harvest regrowth forest near Lapoinya in the state’s north-west. Forestry Tasmania said it had altered its plan to log regrowth forest near Lapoinya to appease local opponents, but the news that logging will commence in January has been met with outcry. The state-owned company announced it would start harvesting 49 hectares of timber for local sawmillers and timber processors next month. Chief executive Steve Whitely said the company had dealt with many of the concerns of local residents. …But Stewart Hoyt from the Forests of Lapoinya Action Group said the decision had been rushed through at the expense of the giant freshwater crayfish.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

We’ll Always Have Paris: Climate Change Success Runs Through Forests

Huffington Post
December 17, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

The landmark climate agreement signed last weekend in Paris is notable for many reasons, including recognition that renewable energy alone won’t solve the climate crisis. Carbon emissions will continue despite best efforts, as the agreement notes, and it says there should be new investment in “negative emissions technologies” to remove carbon from our air. While the phrase might call to mind giant vacuum cleaners or carbon-zapping lasers, the planet already has the perfect carbon scrubbing device in hand–our forests…There are four key steps the U.S. government can take to fully leverage American forests as a major part of the post-Paris climate solution:
1. Keep Forests as Forests
2. Plant More Forests
3. Invest in Science
4. Build With Wood

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The Dirty Secret of the Paris Climate Deal

December 17, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Last week in Paris, I watched happily as the world passed the final text of a truly global and surprisingly ambitious climate change agreement…  Then there are the more ambitious engineering approaches based on removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it somewhere safe, such as underground in geological deposits such as saline aquifers or old oil and gas reservoirs, known as carbon capture and storage (CCS). The most commonly discussed method is to cultivate crops or trees, which remove carbon from the atmosphere as they grow, then using this biomass in power plants to generate electricity, followed by CCS disposal of the waste carbon dioxide. This would create a power source that is not only carbon neutral, but carbon negative… All of these technologies have serious limits, however.

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The Dirty Secret of the Paris Climate Deal

December 17, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Last week in Paris, I watched happily as the world passed the final text of a truly global and surprisingly ambitious climate change agreement…  Then there are the more ambitious engineering approaches based on removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it somewhere safe, such as underground in geological deposits such as saline aquifers or old oil and gas reservoirs, known as carbon capture and storage (CCS). The most commonly discussed method is to cultivate crops or trees, which remove carbon from the atmosphere as they grow, then using this biomass in power plants to generate electricity, followed by CCS disposal of the waste carbon dioxide. This would create a power source that is not only carbon neutral, but carbon negative… All of these technologies have serious limits, however.

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Alaska Airlines, Boeing, port to study biofuels at Sea-Tac

Associated Press in Longview Daily News
December 16, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE — Boeing Co., Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle are partnering on a $250,000 study to explore how to bring more biofuel to airplanes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Executives for the companies and port signed an agreement Wednesday, saying the study will help stimulate production of alternatives to conventional jet fuel. They say the longer-term plan is to incorporate more biofuel into the airport’s fuel farm, which is used by all 26 airlines. The study will determine costs as well as what infrastructure is needed to deliver a blend of jet fuel and biofuel to airplanes. Currently, aviation biofuels are not produced in Washington state but arrive by truck, train or barge. The port, which operates Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, will manage the study. [END OF STORY]

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Biomass or fossil fuels: which is better for environment?

Ukrainian Biofuel Portal
December 16, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The world is switching from fossil fuel to alternative energy source at present. In these circumstances, the most popular source of renewable power is biomass. During a long period of time it was supposed to be much cleaner than fossil fuels are, though it costs more. However, recent studies has revealed that burning wood is not that green, as it was considered to be before. The amount of electric power station is growing. That is why the demand for different kind of fuel is also growing. In this case, a number of power plant in several countries is switching to burning wood, either partly or completely. …As it was mentioned before, there are five biomass-fired power plants in the UK. However, this country is not able to produce a sufficient amount of biomass fuel. That is why the raw material required is being imported from different countries and regions.

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Forestry Can Help UN Achieve 2030 Sustainability Goals, Says PEFC

Hardwood Floors Magazine
December 17, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The 2015 PEFC Forest Certification Week, which coincided with the World Climate Summit in Paris, saw a number of country’s officials get together to discuss goals for sustainable forestry management and award countries that showed progress in 2015. On the minds of attendees was the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which outlines 17 UN goals to end poverty and achieve sustainable development in the next 15 years. Forestry will play a big role in achieving those goals, PEFC International CEO Ben Gunneberg told attendees at the PEFC general assembly that opened PEFC Forest Certification Week.

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A ten-year battle to root forests in a climate pact is won

Paris embedded the giant stocks of carbon in a UN pact for the first time, but not without a fight
Climate Home
December 17, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Almost 200 countries vowed to “conserve and enhance” the world’s “sinks and reservoirs” in last week’s Paris deal to fight climate change. It was a coup for the land sector, say experts, as a forest protection programme – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of forests (REDD+) – received an explicit mention in a separate article of the 11-page treaty… Rules on how REDD+ would work were agreed back in June, unexpected progress amid what were then a struggling set of wider UN climate negotiations… Its absence in a deal wouldn’t have been fatal. Forest conservation was peppered in other parts of the text. But diplomats fought hard to ensure it projected a strong signal that the international community backed conservation efforts in a bid to cap warming ‘well below’ 2C this century.

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Hope for the trees

December 17, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

UNTIL the 1960s, forest-clearing accounted for most anthropogenic carbon emissions. Now it causes around 10%—a decline that led many at the UN climate summit in Paris to focus their efforts elsewhere. Though Norway, Germany and Britain said they would make a billion dollars a year available for averting tropical deforestation until 2020, America, France and Japan refused to chip in. Australia trumpeted a pro-tree plan of its own, but has not pledged more money for it. There was little mention of Indonesia’s devastating wildfires, or of a 16% uptick in deforestation in Brazil. Yet the 10% share hugely understates the importance of forests to the fight against climate change. Just as shrinking forests contribute to global warming, growing ones can counter it. During the 2000s tropical forests are estimated to have sopped up and stored carbon equivalent to 22-26% of carbon-dioxide emissions from human activity. Ending tropical deforestation and letting damaged forests recover could cut net emissions by almost a third, creating a space for industrial emissions to fall more slowly.

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Hope for the trees

December 17, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

UNTIL the 1960s, forest-clearing accounted for most anthropogenic carbon emissions. Now it causes around 10%—a decline that led many at the UN climate summit in Paris to focus their efforts elsewhere. Though Norway, Germany and Britain said they would make a billion dollars a year available for averting tropical deforestation until 2020, America, France and Japan refused to chip in. Australia trumpeted a pro-tree plan of its own, but has not pledged more money for it. There was little mention of Indonesia’s devastating wildfires, or of a 16% uptick in deforestation in Brazil. Yet the 10% share hugely understates the importance of forests to the fight against climate change. Just as shrinking forests contribute to global warming, growing ones can counter it. During the 2000s tropical forests are estimated to have sopped up and stored carbon equivalent to 22-26% of carbon-dioxide emissions from human activity. Ending tropical deforestation and letting damaged forests recover could cut net emissions by almost a third, creating a space for industrial emissions to fall more slowly.

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