UN Biodiversity Conference Must Reject Biomass as Climate-Friendly
At the 15th United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) now underway in Montreal, countries from around the globe have gathered to discuss climate commitments to ensure biodiversity, reduce emissions and advance renewable energy sources. They should not miss the opportunity to declare that biomass is not part of any solution.
A report issued by the International Energy Agency estimates bioenergy will account for a third of low-carbon energy by 2030. Yet despite its misleading name, bioenergy, or energy from biomass is harmful for the climate and biodiversity.
In the UK, biomass is a large part of the country’s net zero climate plan, leading the government to dish out massive subsidies to the biomass industry despite the fact that burning wood pellets emits 10 to 15 percent more carbon dioxide than coal, and that planting new trees in place of the destroyed forests is not a satisfactory solution for offsetting the emissions produced by the biomass industry.
More than 650 scientists argued in a letter to national leaders ahead of COP15 that “logging for bioenergy is accelerating the threat to forests and wildlife while scientists are calling for ‘transformative change’ — not business as usual — if we hope to avert climate disaster and biodiversity collapse. If the global community endeavours to protect 30% of land and seas for nature by 2030, it must also commit to ending reliance on biomass energy. The best thing for the climate and biodiversity is to leave forests standing — and biomass energy does the opposite.”
The Moore Charitable Foundation strongly supports curtailing the biomass industry and works closely with nonprofits like the Southern Environmental Law Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, Partnership for Policy Integrity, and Dogwood Alliance to dispel climate myths, curb subsidies, and protect impacted communities and precious old-growth forests where wood pellet plants contribute to major and often unregulated environmental problems affecting air and rivers.