Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson
While we welcome Tasmania’s negative greenhouse gas emissions, this has had nothing to do with Liberal Government policy. It is the outcome of the Tasmanian Forests Agreement, which saved hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest from being logged.
The state’s carbon emissions profile is thanks to the same agreement the Liberals tore up when they came to office in 2014.
Tasmania’s first Liberal Climate Change Minister, Peter Gutwein, must acknowledge the state’s negative emissions profile is entirely due to protecting native forests from logging.
Under the Liberals, Tasmania is moving away from being a net carbon sink. There was 1.14 million tonnes less net-carbon sequestered in 2019 than in 2018. This is largely due to almost 1 million tonnes less carbon that was captured and stored through ‘forested land remaining forested land’ in 2019, compared to the previous year.
As the Liberals continue to sanction native forest harvesting, the amount of carbon that is drawn down by our forests is likely to decrease year on year.
Forestry Tasmania itself has made it clear that Tasmania’s minimum sawlog quota is not sustainable. This means we can expect to see continued harvesting activities overtake the carbon sequestered from regrowth in future years. Ultimately, this would reverse Tasmania’s current status as a net carbon sink.
Instead of taking real climate action, Premier Gutwein has created an Orwellian ‘Emissions Reduction’ portfolio and handed it to Guy Barnett - the same Minister blindly pushing his pro-logging agenda. It’s clear the Liberals are just interested in green-washing and climate spin.
In a climate emergency, protecting carbon-storing and biodiverse forests, and restoring landscapes are essential first steps. Instead, the Liberals are accelerating native forest logging – it’s shameful and dangerous.