It’s time to hold the Forestry Industry Accountable for its Climate, Biodiversity, and Community Impacts
The United States is home to some of the world’s most diverse forests. Protecting these forests is as vital to solving the dual climate and environmental justice crises as transitioning to clean, renewable energy.
Standing, living natural forests are our only hope for removing and storing enough carbon from the atmosphere at the scale necessary to help stabilize the climate and keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees. Forests also provide clean drinking water, wildlife habitat, soil productivity, fresh air, and natural flood control, helping to protect our communities from the worst climate change impacts.
However, the US is among the world’s largest producers and consumers of wood products. Logging rates are among the highest on Earth. The scales have tipped towards looking to our forests primarily as a wood-supply store, largely ignoring their life-supporting and climate stabilizing functions.
The reality is that massive extraction and degradation of forests occurs in the U.S. at one of the fastest rates in the world. Threats to US forests are accelerating with a recent increase in the use of wood for electricity generation, in spite of scientific warnings that substituting coal or gas with wood will accelerate climate disruption.
For decades, forest policy in the U.S. has served to support the forest products industry, ensuring economic returns for large corporations and private landowners at the expense of healthy forests, workers, and communities. The forest products industry is driving massive carbon emissions, degrading forests, polluting the air and water, and compromising vital ecosystem services. The impacts, like so many other dirty and destructive industries, disproportionately harm low-income and communities of color.
As President Biden works to uphold his promises to address climate change and environmental justice, we must urge him to establish strong, ecologically-sound, and environmentally-just protections for our forests, as they are central to fulfilling these pledges.From the Pacific Northwest to the Southeast, communities are calling for a Green New Deal for forests to meet the pressing needs of mitigating the climate crisis, defending communities against its worst impacts, and advancing a just transition.
Sign the petition to President Biden: In order to ensure your robust climate action will be successful, you must include protections for forests.