According to preliminary modelling from the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), planting an additional 400,000 ha of timber plantation forests by 2030 in Australia will offset 200 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050. Not only that, the additional hectares will also help Australia achieve sovereign capability in timber and fibre supply, and grow regional jobs.
“In real terms that is equivalent to the total emissions produced by almost 50 million cars in a year,” Ross Hampton, CEO of AFPA said. “This new modelling shows that growing Australia’s timber plantation estate is key to reaching net zero by 2050 and boosting our self-sufficiency for much needed sustainable timber products, like new house frames, of which we will be 250,000 short by 2035 if we don’t plant more trees.”
He further commented: “Australia’s renewable forest industries cannot be left out of the Federal Government’s plan for reaching net zero, because the reality is the target will be almost impossible to achieve without growing nature-based solutions.”
The Federal Government’s A Billion Trees for Jobs and Growth national plan, which commits to growing Australia’s timber plantation estate by one billion trees in key timber processing regions by 2030, will kickstart the journey to achieving this goal, according to Hampton.
“The Federal Government has the opportunity to deliver a win/win/win scenario by boosting our declining plantation estate, growing regional jobs and contributing to Australia’s future economy,” Hampton said.