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Industrial Tree Plantations Company Suzano’s agenda at the UN Climate COP26: Expansion, GE Trees and FSC Certification

World Rainforest Movement 4 Jan 2022

Included in Bulletin 259

People arriving at Glasgow train station in November 2021 to attend COP26, the UN climate meeting, were handed copies of the Financial Times, with a front-page advert from Suzano, the Brazilian pulp and paper giant. “We support a regulated carbon market to deliver the Paris Agreement,” the advert states. (1)

In a series of bullet points, Suzano, the world’s largest producer of eucalyptus pulp, argues that rapid decarbonisation requires “building a truly global regulated carbon market”. Suzano describes itself as a “carbon negative company” that has “demonstrated that positive change is achievable today”.

And the company announces its goal of achieving “a net removal of 40 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere” by 2025.

At COP26, Walter Schalka, CEO of Suzano, told the ‘Business for Nature’ coalition that, “Biomass is going to transform the future.” (2) Schalka argues that his company “can be part of the solution of the climate change, because we are on both sides of the equation. We are absorbing carbon on one side, and on the other side we are replacing fossil materials.”

The reality is that the burning of biomass to produce electricity is booming in part at least because the UN considers biomass as a carbon neutral source of energy. This allows nations and companies to burn biomass without having to count the emissions, thus helping them meet their carbon reduction targets. But the expansion of industrial tree plantations and the burning of wood pellets are highly detrimental for the climate and for forest dependent communities.

Moreover, Suzano is responsible for a massive land grab in Brazil, including of Indigenous Peoples’ territory. The company is hoping to continue expanding its monoculture plantations under the guise of ‘nature-based solutions’. Another key tactic for Suzano to keep expanding its eucalyptus plantations, is to market itself as a company that practices ‘conservation’ and ‘restoration’. This conceals its disastrous track record related to forest and forest-dwelling people.

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