Bob Brown Foundation calls on Tasmania’s Premier to commit to ending native forest logging and deforestation for mining and renewable energy projects, cut emissions across all polluting sectors, and introduce companion legislation for zero impact on wildlife, including birdlife, in this age of extinction crisis.
“It’s time for Premier Gutwein to list all the polluting sectors, detail their current emissions profile, and then tell us how their emissions will be cut. For example, the government must reveal the tonnage of greenhouse gases released for each hectare of Tasmanian native forests incinerated each year in forest ‘regeneration’ burns, the amount of methane released from the continued damming of rivers, and the emissions from the Atlantic salmon farming industry,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber said.
“Our Foundation will be the watchdog over the Gutwein government as it continues to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from logging and incinerating native forests and other polluting industries,” Bob Brown said.
“Tasmania doesn’t need to wait to legislate for net zero in 2030 since we’re there now. We can aim for actual zero and start by protecting all native forests from logging and clearing since they’ve demonstrated what a heroic job they can do when left alone. Tasmania has some of the biggest carbon storehouses in the world, in the giant eucalyptus forests, if left standing for their climate, water, and wildlife benefits,” Former Tasmanian Greens leader Peg Putt said. Peg Putt is currently the coordinator of the international Forests, Climate, and Biomass Energy working group of the Environmental Paper Network.
“We have 365 000 hectares of promised reserve forests now available for logging, and their climate benefits will be lost into the atmosphere as soon as the Government starts logging them. Taking true action on climate includes placing the 365 000 hectares of forests into protected status immediately, ending all native forest logging and burning to stop logging emissions and draw down carbon as they continue growing. We also need to see a halt to plans for clearing of hundreds of hectares of forests in takayna / Tarkine for mining,” Jenny Weber said.
“Premier Gutwein’s announcement of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 is designed to impress the global community while aligning himself with Tasmania’s major polluters. If you separate the protected forests, you will find that Premier Gutwein has ignored the challenge to reduce emissions on major polluting sectors of transport, mining, agriculture, ongoing logging, and the deforestation associated with massive transmission infrastructure for the proposed Marinus Link, the MMG tailings dam and Venture’s Mt Lindsay mine in takayna / Tarkine,” said Christine Milne.
“Premier Gutwein should note the post-2020 biodiversity framework currently under discussion at COP15 in China which makes clear that any renewable energy solution that destroys biodiversity is not a climate solution. Tasmania’s case in point is Robbins Island wind farm and associated infrastructure for the transmission line. Marinus Link involves deforestation across northwest and northern Tasmania for new high voltage transmission lines,” Christine Milne said.
“The climate and biodiversity crises are inextricably linked. Any commitment by Premier Gutwein to lead the world on climate action needs to include protecting the biodiverse native forests that are also amongst the most carbon dense on the planet. Prevent the ongoing loss of wildlife and ecological breakdown that contributes to the global extinction crisis,” Jenny Weber said.
“Tasmania’s government needs to get to grips with the fact we achieved net-zero greenhouse gas emissions when Gunns collapsed and logging decreased. However native forest logging has not ceased and native forests are the heroes here – if they are left standing. Ending logging and incinerating native forests will achieve a huge drop in emissions. Premier Gutwein is backing the big polluters and loggers while riding on the coat-tails of the people who have protected forests,” Jenny Weber said.
“Tasmania can be a genuine zero-emissions economy, where our renewable energy is used here to produce a wealth of jobs and products on our island, instead of settling for being a battery for the Australian mainland. We must have sensible renewable energy developments, in appropriate locations, which don’t trash cultural and environmental values. We must end native forest logging and incineration and enforce emissions cuts by all the big polluters. We must have companion legislation for zero impact on wildlife, including birdlife, in this age of extinction crisis,” Jenny Weber said.