Greens launch plan to protect native forests and fight the climate crisis

Senator Janet Rice


Greens Forest spokesperson Senator Janet Rice has announced today the Greens’ fully-costed ‘Protecting Native Forests, Protecting the Climate’ policy.

The Greens’ plan is an integrated approach of immediate action on the climate crisis by protecting Australia’s forests and banking the carbon benefits from ending logging; funding ecological restoration and supporting regional workers and communities through a just transition.

The Greens plan would commit ten billion dollars over 20 years, to be provided to state governments that end native forest logging, including states that have already committed to doing so.

The funding would be allocated between state governments, with $800 million allocated on the basis of the most recent log harvesting volumes. The remaining $200 million will be allocated between jurisdictions (including the Northern Territory) as negotiated by the Commonwealth.

As part of taking real action on the climate crisis and reaping the benefits of the carbon value, state governments that end native forest logging must commit to not using forests to create offsets for fossil fuel expansion.

The Commonwealth and state governments would be required to allocate a major proportion of the $10 billion to ecological restoration and ensuring a just transition for workers and communities. These projects would provide significant employment in areas such as restoring previously logged forests where post-logging regeneration has failed; pest and weed control; effective, ecologically appropriate and culturally-informed fire management, and other projects that help restore and protect the incredible beauty of Australia’s native forests.

Read the plan (PDF)

Quotes attributable to Senator Janet Rice, Greens Forests spokesperson:

“Our forests should be protected, not commodified.

“We need a permanent, national ban on native forest logging.

“By protecting Australia’s native forests we act on the climate emergency, preserve places we love for future generations, protect our water supplies, reduce bushfire risk, and save threatened species from extinction.

“We must save Australia’s precious forests. But ending native forest logging is only part of the equation: to adequately address the climate crisis we need to both protect our forests and urgently stop the mining and burning of coal and gas.

“We are on the verge of going over the climate cliff, but Labor and the Liberals continue to support the industries causing the crisis.

“There are proposals for selling carbon offsets created by ending logging to enable multinational corporations to fund fossil fuel projects. If this occurred we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. Using carbon credits to green light more coal and gas projects means fueling the climate crisis, putting lives at risk, and bringing worse fires, floods and droughts to Australia.

“The Greens’ plan will ensure the carbon value of ending logging and protecting our forests will benefit the climate, not be traded away with an accounting trick that would unleash more coal and gas.

“At current rates, Labor won’t hit net zero until 2080, locking in 3 degrees of warming and untold destruction. Ending native forest logging and banking the carbon saved would help us reach Australia’s zero emissions targets, consistent with keeping global heating to less than 1.5 degrees.

“After decades of environmental vandalism by successive Liberal and Labor governments, the Greens’ plan will provide meaningful investment to restore our forests and bring new jobs to regional communities across Australia.

“Both major parties have so far refused to engage with the need for a just transition for workers nationally, leaving regional communities having to get by with a patchwork of state transitions. Only the Greens have a clear plan that will protect Australia’s forests and climate, fund ecological restoration, and support regional workers and communities.

“Ending native forest logging and banking the carbon benefits is popular, good for workers and the economy, and key to fighting the climate crisis.”

Read the plan (PDF) Join the fight to End Native Forest Logging