Forest-Climate Working Group Releases Consensus Policy Platform for 117th Congress

Washington, District of Columbia, UNITED STATES

WASHINGTON, Nov. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Forest-Climate Working Group (FCWG) today released a new federal policy platform intended to shape climate action in Congress. The new platform is endorsed by 43 CEOs and organizations. The policy platform, which includes detailed proposals in five key areas, outlines how policymakers can help private forest owners and public land managers grow the powerful climate solutions in America’s forests and forest products while delivering a myriad of other environmental and economic benefits. Harnessing the power of forests to tackle climate change must be part of a comprehensive climate action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase sequestration.

“For more than a decade, the Forest-Climate Working Group has developed consensus policy proposals that advance forests and forest products as a climate change solution, tapping the diverse expertise of landowners and manufacturers, agencies and researchers, and conservation NGOs,” said Jad Daley, President and CEO of American Forests, and Co-Chair of the FCWG. “With the impacts of climate change advancing daily, this new policy platform represents a credible and broadly supported roadmap for federal policymakers to confidently take action that will spur greater carbon capture in public and private forests alike, and more fully leverage the power of wood products to store carbon and reduce GHG emissions from manufacturing.”

Today, U.S. forests and forest products annually sequester and store almost 15% of U.S. carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. The platform outlines a pathway to increase the mitigation contributions of forests and forest products through policy mechanisms that incentivize needed forestry actions and provide essential scientific support.

“With leading voices for business, conservation, and rural landowners, the Forest-Climate Working Group and this new policy platform demonstrates that it is possible to design forest-based solutions to climate change that are wins for the environment, practical for businesses, and beneficial for rural and urban Americans alike,” said Rita Hite, Executive Vice-President at the American Forest Foundation and Co-Chair of the FCWG. “What’s more, these are solutions that can be implemented right now, right here in America’s backyard.”

The new policy platform provides unprecedented detail in five impactful areas: The creation of a new forest conservation easement program, removing the cap on the Reforestation Trust Fund, a landowner tax credit for private forest carbon actions, creation of a low carbon footprint building tax credit, and expanding funding to the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program.

Members of the FCWG Steering Committee, which is representative of the diversity of the coalition, provided commentary on the significance of the platform:

“The FCWG policy platform is right on target by supporting investments in our forests, landowners, and research capacity. These elements are critical to ensure our forests are effective carbon sinks and are resilient to climate change, which in turn supports economic vitality of rural communities, clean water, wildlife, and the many other benefits that forests provide.”

- Dr. Richard Kobe, Forestry Department Chair, Michigan State University

“Meaningful policy action on natural climate solutions through working forests must be inclusive and flexible to achieve outcomes at scale while meeting the diverse needs of forest owners and rural communities. Modern forestry is already one of our best tools for mitigating climate change. With smart policies like these, there is potential for even greater positive impact on the climate.”

- Dave Tenny, founding President and CEO of the National Alliance of Forest Owners

“For nearly 50 years, The Trust for Public Land has worked to keep forests as forests and bring the benefits of land conservation to communities nationwide. Today, we add climate protection to the critical role forests can play and we need leadership from our federal government in science, policy and funding. FCWG represents amazing alignment of industry and environmental advocates around smart policy to grow a greener, safer and more prosperous future.”

- Diane Regas, CEO and President of The Trust for Public Land

The Forest-Climate Working Group (FCWG) is a broad and diverse coalition of forest stakeholder organizations. FCWG members represent forest landowners, forest products, conservation, wildlife, academic, government, carbon finance, and other forest sector organizations. The FCWG formed in late 2007 to develop consensus recommendations and information for federal and state policies that involve forests and climate change. The FCWG has been working together since that time to deepen our understanding of forest-climate science and issues, and to provide input on climate policy. Read more at

CONTACT: Kate Gatto, National Alliance of Forest Owners