Archive for the ‘Subsidies’ Category
The paper industry often claims to be green. This story from the US reveals that the paper industry has one goal above everything else: making a profit. The environment is irrelevant to the industry, provided that goal is met.
By Chris Lang (January 2008):
A recent article by Barnaby Drake in the World Rainforest Movement Bulletin outlines some of the subsidies that Gunns receives from the government.
One of these comes in the form of Managed Investment Services Companies. These companies invest in monoculture tree plantations and the government grants them tax-free status – on the grounds that the plantations are a carbon sink and carbon credits can be traded against continuing pollution. Apart from the sheer impossibility of proving that plantations are actually sinks (see, for example, Carbon Offsets and the Ghost of Frank Knight, in the Cornerhouse’s 2006 report “Carbon Trading“, page 160), the plantations will be cut down, chipped, converted to pulp, exported to Japan, China or wherever and converted to paper. Producing paper consumes huge amounts of energy. Globally, the pulp and paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy. Most paper ends up ultimately in landfills where it decomposes and produces methane – a far stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.