Joint letter to Ministers Guilbeault and Wilkinson regarding GHG emissions of logging sector

Please read the following letter that was jointly signed by several parliamentarians including Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party of Canada, and Mike Morrice, MP for Kitchener Centre:

December 6, 2023

Hon Steven Guilbeault, PC, MP
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Government of Canada

Hon Jonathan Wilkinson, PC, MP
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
Government of Canada

Dear Ministers Guilbeault and Wilkinson,

The unprecedented destruction from recent wildfires accentuates the fact that climate change poses a major threat to the health, well-being and prosperity of Canadians. Canada has made important progress in decarbonizing the economy and has delivered this country’s most detailed climate plan to date. However, according to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, we are not on track to meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. To do so, Canada must take stronger action to reduce emissions from all sectors,
informed by accurate, transparent GHG reporting.

Therefore, as Members of Parliament and Senators, we are writing to urge you to take action to more transparently report – and reduce – GHG emissions attributable to Canada’s logging sector.

More accurate and transparent reporting of logging emissions is critical for three reasons:

First, Canada is not getting credit for significant emission reductions due to decreased rates of harvesting since 2005. By reporting emissions and removals in forests in a more balanced way that transparently conveys the impact of industrial logging, as well as adopting a more internationally respected net-net system that measures logging emissions levels relative to 2005, the way we do for every other sector of the economy, Canada would move 24 megatonnes closer to its 2030 emissions reduction target. (Footnote 1)

Second, as indicated by Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, the lack of clear reporting of logging sector emissions is hindering the development and implementation of effective policies to reduce Canada’s GHG emissions. This gap in data is also undermining public accountability and creating a hidden subsidy for carbon pollution from the sector.

Third, and finally, the lack of accurate logging emissions data is obscuring the importance of protecting primary and old-growth forests. With an area of forest one quarter the size of Alberta impacted by wildfires this year, it is more important than ever to protect these carbon-rich, biodiverse areas that are also typically more resilient to climate change.

In summary, we urge you to advance effective action to tackle climate change by committing to separately and transparently report GHG emissions attributable to logging in Canada’s upcoming Emissions Reduction Plan progress report and its 2024 National GHG Inventory Report.


John Aldag
Member of Parliament (Liberal)
Cloverdale – Langley City

Jenica Atwin
Member of Parliament (Liberal)

Taylor Bachrach
Member of Parliament (NDP)
Skeena – Bulkley Valley

Vance Badawey
Member of Parliament (Liberal)
Niagara Centre

Lisa Marie Barron
Member of Parliament (NDP)

Alexandre Boulerice
Member of Parliament (NDP)
Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie

Richard Cannings
Member of Parliament (NDP)
South Okanagan – West Kootenay

Laurel Collins
Member of Parliament (NDP)

Don Davies
Member of Parliament (NDP)
Vancouver Kingsway

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith
Member of Parliament (LIberal)
Toronto Beaches East York

Andy Fillmore
Member of Parliament (Liberal)

Randall Garrison
Member of Parliament (NDP)
Esquimalt – Saanich – Sooke

Leah Gazan
Member of Parliament (NDP)
Winnipeg Centre

Gord Johns
Member of Parliament (NDP)
Courtney Alberni

Peter Julian
Member of Parliament (NDP)
New Westminster-Burnaby

Jenny Kwan
Member of Parliament (NDP)
Vancouver East

David Lametti
Member of Parliament (LIberal)

Brian Masse
Member of Parliament (NDP)
Windsor West

Elizabeth May
Member of Parliament (Green)
Saanich – Gulf Islands

Alexandra Mendès
Member of Parliament (Liberal)
Brossard – Saint-Lambert

Mike Morrice
Member of Parliament (Green)
Kitchener Centre

Leah Taylor-Roy
Member of Parliament (Liberal)
Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill

Patrick Weiler
Member of Parliament (LIberal)
West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country

Bonita Zarrillo
Member of Parliament (NDP)
Port Moody – Coquitlam

Mary Coyle
Senator, Nova Scotia

Rosa Galvez
Senator, Quebec (Bedford)

Stan Kutcher
Senator, Nova Scotia

Paul Massicotte
Senator, Quebec (De Lanaudière)

Kim Pate
Senator, Ontario

cc: Rt Hon Prime Minister Justin Trudeau


1. Canada currently measures emissions reductions in the forestry sector against a projection of historical logging rates, an approach which Canada’s Environment Commissioner states “is difficult to understand and lacks transparency,” and “by 2026 will be used by few other developed countries.” See Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Forests and Climate Change, Report 1, 2023, pages 21-22