make a donation

Developed countries avoid making forests count

  • Published on Nov 06 2009 |
  • This article is tagged as: boreal-forest

Environmentalists disappointed in outcomes of Barcelona climate change meetings

Barcelona -   At the end of this week’s final round of United Nations talks before the Copenhagen climate change meeting occurs next month, environmental groups are disappointed that developed countries have failed to clearly commit to accounting for greenhouse gas emissions from cutting down their forests.

“Many developed countries are balking at the idea that they would have to strictly account for changes in these emissions.  They have drafted a number of loopholes into the proposed new rules that would allow them to increase their emissions without accounting for them,” says Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) conservation expert Chris Henschel, who has been coordinating environmental groups working on this issue at the climate talks.

Forests remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere as they grow. These gases are released when forests are cut. Cutting natural forests also damages healthy ecosystems.

“The preference of the Canadian government has been to measure its performance against a projection of future business-as-usual practices, but it will be difficult to demonstrate that this approach has environmental integrity.  We’re still hoping that Canada will agree to measures that track real changes in emissions.  Otherwise it will be hard to find either ambition or transparency in the numbers,” says Henschel.

 “Rather than responding to requests from environmental groups and developing countries including China, India and Brazil to strictly account for emissions from cutting forests, developed countries will now bring an adjusted set of books to Copenhagen and look for them to be approved during the pivotal climate conference. Each country is invited to bring to the table whatever baseline it likes for measuring changes in emissions,” says Henschel.

“This is a failure in leadership from developed countries. In Copenhagen we will have to sift through more than thirty sets of books looking for cheating and fudged numbers.  No one will have confidence in these accounts.  We continue to call for a simple accounting of future emissions compared to past emissions,” says Henschel. 


For more information, visit .   

Learn about the link between carbon and Canada\'s forests at

For interviews, please contact:
Ellen Adelberg (613) 569 -7226 x 234
Or email Chris Henschel at