Drop forest biomass burning as ‘renewable’: MFC

Road closed. Photo from MFC website.

Road closed. Photo from MFC website.

Markets For Change is calling on federal MPs not to target forest biomass as ‘renewable energy’.

‘It is increasingly recognised in Europe that renewable energy policy encouraging the burning of forest biomass for electricity has been a mistaken policy that is actually contributing to carbon emissions and adversely affecting natural forests around the world,’ said Markets For Change CEO Peg Putt from Brussels.

‘We urge the government and all MPs in Canberra not to target forests for energy production, but instead to go with genuine, clean renewable energy.

‘The push to burn forests is the new woodchipping, much desired by an ailing native forest sector but it is no climate solution, as new analyses demonstrate.’

Ms Putt has been attending a series of meetings in Europe focused on the latest science regarding large scale combustion of forest material and its implications for renewable energy policy.

‘It is increasingly recognised that burning forests for electricity is not carbon neutral at all, but in fact emits climate changing carbon dioxide in large quantities as it annihilates important carbon stocks.

‘This has been the subject of several meetings I have attended in the UK and Brussels over the past two weeks, including at Chatham House, a highly regarded international think tank.

‘The claim that because trees grow again it is okay to burn them now to tackle global warming is mistaken and simplistic, because re-growing a forest will take many decades or even centuries to recover the emissions created, which can be as high or higher than those from burning coal.

‘Not only would creating incentives to burn forests under the RET further damage the climate, it would encourage industrial logging that is driving biodiversity crises while also undermining solar and wind power.

‘Many in Europe are looking to correct erroneous carbon accounting rules for forests that are applied under the Kyoto Protocol.

‘Our government should lead with the best and latest knowledge rather than seeking to apply outdated policies that the rest of the world is set to abandon.’

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