Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Offsetting carbon while the boreal burns: Canadian Boreal Initiative (Pew) funds Suzuki to promote boreal forest carbon trading

Comment: Just as more scientific evidence continues to emerge that increased forest fires, all caused by climate change, are now causing the boreal forest to emit more carbon than it absorbs, the Big Greens (coincidentally funded by the Big Oil Pew foundation) continue to promote the idea of carbon trading from boreal forest "offsets". Yet, even the Canadian Forest Service has concluded that Canadian forests should not be included as a "sink" under Kyoto due to the extremely high risk of forest fires and insect outbreaks in the future:

"If the analysis had shown that Canada’s managed forest was very likely to be a [carbon] sink in 2008–2012, then its inclusion in Kyoto accounting would have made it easier for Canada to meet its Kyoto target. Instead, the analysis showed that there was a greater than nine in ten chance of it being a [carbon] source in 2008–2012. Including the managed forest would very likely have made the Kyoto target even more difficult to achieve. This high risk of a source led to the government’s decision to not include forest management in Canada’s Kyoto accounting. The main reasons for the high risk are wildfires and the ongoing and anticipated insect outbreaks in several regions."

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Conserving Forests:
Approaches to Stimulate Action

June 13 & 14, 2007 - Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto

The David Suzuki Foundation, Conservation International, Canadian Boreal Initiative, Institute of Environment at the University of Ottawa, and the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto hosted a two-day workshop on June 13 & 14, for climate and wilderness NGOs and First Nations on the science and policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in the Canadian Boreal and the Tropical Rainforest regions of the planet (e.g., the Amazon).

Conference Introduction

Forest vegetation and soils play a critical role in carbon sequestration and storage. However, when soils are disturbed or trees are cut down as a result of human land use, much of this stored carbon is released back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Scientists believe that forest clearance (both deforestation and forest degradation) are thus a major source of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

The recent 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that forest clearance may account for as much as a quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions annually. These emissions are additive to that caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. The opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by conserving forests is of increasing interest to non-governmental organizations, including both wilderness conservation groups and climate NGOs. For example, many environmental groups are now advocating for the inclusion of forest conservation in government climate change plans. Similarly, forest conservation is being advanced in carbon-offset schemes and carbon markets.

Participants at this conference learned first-hand from Canadian and international science and policy experts on a variety of topics related to this issue. The conference provided a unique opportunity to engage in strategic discussions to identify solutions and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from forest clearance.

Presentations are available for download in PDF format on the Conference Proceedings page. For further details, be sure to review the Presentation Abstracts and Speaker Biographies pages.

In order to highlight the diversity of this conference, a photography contest was held, representing three categories: Tropical and Boreal Landscapes, Biodiversity, Forest Peoples. To view all of the entries and category winners go to the Photo Contest page.

Thank you to all of those who participated and helped organize this event. The conference was a great success and we will continue to post updates and follow up from the event on this site. Event Photos are available for all to enjoy!

For more information, please contact Ms. Autumn O'Brien.

This conference is carbon neutral. The David Suzuki Foundation is taking responsibility for the climate impact associated with hosting this conference by purchasing offsets for all major greenhouse gas emissions for the event. These include the electricity used for lighting and cooling of this meeting space, travel of participants to and from the conference (by plane, train, or car), and hotel accommodations for all participants. DSF will calculate these emissions, and then purchase offsets from renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that meet the internationally recognized Gold Standard. These projects assist in the development of a clean energy economy, and are designed to provide additional sustainability benefits in the communities where they are developed. For more information about making your own conference or other event carbon neutral, please contact Paul Lingl., Climate Change Campaigner.


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Tar Sands Photo Albums by Project

Discussion Points on a Moratorium

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