Opinion: Ontario’s draft Forest Biomass Action Plan – a sensible path forward
By Gordon Murray, WPAC
By Gordon Murray, WPAC
As an outcome of the Forest Sector Strategy, Ontario has committed to putting a Forest Biomass Action Plan in place. The plan is intended to support economic development in Ontario by enhancing the use of under-utilized forest resources including mill by-products and under-utilized forest biofibre. On May 6, the province released a draft of the plan for comment. I encourage readers to submit comments before the deadline of June 21, 2021.
The Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) welcomes the draft plan and is aligned with five objectives identified within it. WPAC believes that the plan sets out a sensible path and milestones for developing a sustainable biomass sector in the province. It:
- supports Indigenous community involvement and reconciliation;
- recognizes markets, demand and regulatory environment as key factors; and
- considers all possible uses for biomass including combustion, pyrolysis, hydro-thermal treatments, gasification and thermo-chemical processing. By recognizing the technologies that are currently commercial as well as those that need further development, this plan embraces growth and the future.
Canada’s pellet industry has grown to become the second largest pellet producer in the world — employing thousands of people across Canada. We are proud of our achievements. Today, we are supporting local communities and improving forest health all the while supporting global markets with clean, responsible and renewable energy in the form of pellets as they work to meet ambitious GHG targets. We know there is more we can do and believe the future is very bright for our sector with more opportunities to participate in the bio-economy, grow Indigenous participation and contribute to the global fight against climate change.
WPAC and our members view this plan as supporting the sustainability of Ontario’s Forest sector while fostering innovation and economic development. We look forward to working with the Ontario Government as they build out and implement the five-year action plan. To find out more visit the Ontario Government’s proposal here.
Gordon Murray is the executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC).