Grasping Australia's Biofuture
Australia, unlike many other nations, has yet to realise the full potential of its renewable and sustainable forest industries for emissions reduction and environmental materials, with the right support our forest industries could contribute significantly to emissions reduction, regional jobs and economic development.
The 4th assessment report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says:
“A sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained (carbon) mitigation benefit.”
Australia can better utilise the bio-potential of renewable forest fibre to achieve climate change targets through:
- the carbon sequestered in growing forests;
- the carbon stored in harvested wood and paper products;
- the substitution of high emissions construction materials with wood-based products that have low embodied energy and are truly recyclable;
- the use of sustainably sourced woody biomass for renewable energy production (including renewable heat and biofuels) displacing fossil fuels; and
- develop new generation value-added products such as biomaterials, biochemicals and bioenergy from Australian renewable wood fibre.*
* Such as new food packaging; new biotextiles and fabrics used in cars and for clothing; new biochemical compounds for use as adhesives, detergents, cosmetics; and new high-performance biomaterials (e.g. nano-cellulose) used in aircraft and many other uses.