Climate change is a substantial shift in weather patterns over a period of time, ranging from decades to millions of years. Over the last century, the global average temperature has warmed by more than 1.4°F and by 2100, is projected to increase by as much as 11.5°F. This global warming is responsible for melting glaciers, changing weather patterns, and increases in ocean levels, temperatures, and acidity.
Although natural processes such as changes in the sun's energy output, variations in the earth’s orbit, and ocean current shifts do affect the climate, most of the warming of the past half-century has been caused by a buildup of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, due to human activities such as deforestation, ozone depletion, and industrial and agricultural processes that involve fossil fuel combustion.
Unless the amount of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere is decreased, over the coming years the earth will experience an increase in intense heat waves, droughts, and floods that will interfere with water supplies, the power grid, transportation systems, and agriculture.
The forest products industry is the top manufacturer and user of renewable biomass energy (usually plants, wood, or a plant-derived substance that is either converted to biofuel or burned to produce heat). The combustion of biomass causes the release of the carbon dioxide that had been absorbed in living plant form, meaning it is also carbon neutral. Conversely, when natural gas, coal, and oil are combusted for fuel, the result is a net increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. For this reason, PPC supports policy that acknowledges the carbon neutrality of biomass.
To ensure a diverse, stable, and affordable energy supply that does not increase energy and operating costs, PPC advocates developing science-based, low-carbon energy production technologies and technologies that capture or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, using research methodologies that are simple, credible, flexible, transparent, and cost-effective.
PPC also supports policy that provides manufacturers with incentives for the continued reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and supports establishing a single, national program that aims to reduce atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at the lowest possible cost. And to promote fair competition and a globally cooperative solution, we hope that all nations emitting high concentrations of greenhouse gases be held to these same standards.
In conjunction with municipal recycling systems, the forest products industry plays a large role in reducing greenhouse gases by producing a renewable, recyclable resource. Therefore, PPC supports efforts to increase recycling rates and offer recycling capabilities to more communities. Since sustainably managed forests and wood and paper products sequester carbon, PPC also supports policy that promotes sound forest management practices.
What Can I Do?
Spread the word to colleagues and customers that the forest products industry is the top manufacturer and user of renewable, carbon-neutral biomass energy. Write to your representative in Congress and explain that since forest products are carbon neutral and renewable, these materials should be eligible for carbon offset credits. Finally, encourage recycling in your community, specifically of paperboard packaging.