24.2 C
Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Native forest logging for fuel is not clean energy

Latest News

Local youth among those hardest hit by housing affordability crisis

A 20 per cent spike in rents is driving an increase in youth homelessness across the North Coast, the organisers of a national campaign to end homelessness say.

Other News

Your Local Club Academy Games

The North Coast Academy of Sport prepared its largest squad ever to compete at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games, held in the Hunter region last weekend.

Coalition ‘hellbent’

Mat Morris, Bangalow The NSW coalition seems to be hellbent on outdoing their federal counterparts when it comes to the denigration...

Rocky Creek Field Day coming in July

As part of the Rural Landholder Initiative, rural landholders in the Rocky Creek area are invited to an Off-stream Watering and Riparian Habitat Field Day.

Community land trust

Shane Sylvanspring, Mullumbimby I want to congratulate and applaud Cr Paul Spooner, Mayor Simon Richardson, and planning staff for supporting and...

Unauthorised dwelling capital of the world!

Could Main Arm’s title as the Unauthorised Dwelling Capital of the World be under threat?

Help from Red Cross for flood-affected communities in NSW

With disasters coming thick and fast as the climate emergency worsens, Australian Red Cross this morning launched financial help for flood-affected communities in NSW.

Energy retailers and consumers must beware of electricity produced from the logging of Australia’s native forests after the Australian Parliament approved inclusion of native forest biomass into the nation’s Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Now that native forest logging can feed forest furnaces to produce electricity into the grid under the Renewable Energy Target, consumers and electricity retailers will need to beware that this is not clean energy, not carbon neutral, and not environmentally friendly.

Burning native forests for electricity will not help the climate, but it will enable continued unsustainable logging via taxpayer subsidies unlocked by its controversial inclusion into the Renewable Energy Target. The assumption that it is climate neutral is simply wrong.

The Renewable Energy Target is meant to be promoting forms of electricity that do not emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, not propping up destruction of priceless forest ecosystems whilst releasing large amounts of carbon.

This is a lifeline for the continued unsustainable logging destruction of Australia’s native forests in the wake of collapse of woodchip exports from those native forests and could reach volumes on a similar scale to those for export woodchips, which were also categorized as a waste product.

In Tasmania the government has made it clear that they want this biomass burning as what they cutely call a ‘residue solution’, to take the significant volumes of pulp logs coming out of the forest that used to go as woodchip exports and burn them supported by public subsidies. Otherwise they can’t make logging those forests pay.

A similar situation in East Gippsland, Victoria, was outlined in recently released documents that said it would not be economic to log for sawlog alone, no markets exist for the woodchip, and that burning native forest biomass was the only prospect to continue industrial logging in the area.

A Working Paper outlining that burning forest biomass for electricity is not carbon neutral was recently released by Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, in the margins of UN Climate negotiations.

Sadly the knock on effect may be to constrain expansion of genuine clean energy sources in a lower RET.

This was clearly the intent of the Senate trade-off that created a Wind Commissioner in return for including native forest biomass burning.

Peg Putt, CEO Markets for Change

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Fresh faces for Council elections

A very distinct, black flat-cap has just been thrown into the ring for the upcoming Byron Council elections, pegged for September 4.

Follow the buck$

JK Mckenna, Burringbar Give Fast Buck$ his own column in the paper. Let him speak. Let him be heard. Let’s also see some accountability from councils...

A bouquet for Lilac House

L Jenkins, Byron Bay Nicole Habrecht should receive free paint and brushes and a pat on the back from Council for maintaining her house in a...

Bruns boarding house showdown Thursday

The stage is set for a crucial debate over the Brunswick Heads ‘Corso’ development in Byron Council this week, with staff recommending that the developer’s revised plans be approved.