Note: The proposed development of vast plantations of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees across the US South for biomass energy production poses another major threat to Southern forests and biodiversity. To sign our petition to the USDA demanding a ban on the release of GE eucalyptus trees, click here.
Charlottesville, VA, 5 December – A study released today by three major Southern universities, commissioned by the National Wildlife Federation and Southern Environmental Law Center, concludes that wildlife habitat and biodiversity in the Southeast are at risk due to rapidly expanding biomass energy development. The Southeast is now the world’s largest exporter of wood pellets for biomass energy, with exports from Southern ports increasing by 70% last year alone. The projected huge surge in European demand for Southeast trees for power generation is expected to have significant negative impacts on wildlife.
The report, Forestry Bioenergy in the Southeast United States: Implications for Wildlife Habitat and Biodiversity”, can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/1iCZ2p8
For the study, researchers from University of Georgia, University of Florida, and Virginia Tech analyzed land cover and determined areas of highest risk of harvesting around six facilities located in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia, with sourcing areas stretching into Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. One of the case studies focused on a facility owned by Enviva LP, one of the major wood pellet exporters in the region that is sourcing pellets from whole trees logged from wildlife-rich wetland forests in North Carolina and Virginia.
Sustainability fear over new power stations’ demand for wood pellets after report says their use has implications globally
By Jamie Doward, 9 November 2013. Source: The Observer
A new report says the demand for wood pellets has implications for global land use. Photograph: Alamy
Britain’s new generation of biomass power stations will have to source millions of tonnes of wood from thousands of miles away if they are to operate near to their full capacity, raising questions about the claims made for the sustainability of the new technology.
Ministers believe biomass technology could provide as much as 11% of the UK’s energy by 2020, something that would help it meet its carbon commitments. The Environment Agency estimates that biomass-fired electricity generation, most of which involves burning wood pellets, can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% compared with coal-fired power stations. Eight biomass power stations, including one in a unit in the giant Drax power station, are operating in the UK and a further seven are in the pipeline. None operates near capacity.
Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Greenwashing, Illegal logging, Land Grabs, Pollution, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Green Economy, Greenwashing, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, Tree Biotech 2013
By Ecological Internet, February 17, 2013
with Observer Tree, Still Wild Still Threatened
TAKE ACTION to protect Australia’s priceless temperate rainforests
An important new report from Still Wild Still Threatened finds the Australian government has made pledges to protect Tasmania’s priceless temperate rainforests, yet industrial clearcut logging of old-growth continues in what is to be a World Heritage Area.
Important forest wildernesses covering some 170,000 hectares and including Butlers Gorge; and the Florentine, Weld and Styx valleys, have been nominated to be added to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and could finally be given protection after decades of protests.
Alarmingly, however, industrial scale clear felling is still continuing within those forests, with timbers being sold as “eco ply” by the Malaysian timber mafia. From the top of the “Observer Tree” in the middle of this ancient forest, conservationist Miranda Gibson is calling for your help to protect these globally significant forests. Miranda’s action is part of long running grassroots campaigns to protect Tasmania’s forests for more than 20 years.
Demand the Australian government honor their international obligations and protect these World Heritage nominated old-growth temperate rainforests from industrial destruction.
READ THE REPORT
By Margaret Moran, 2 January, 2012. Source: Sierra Sun
Processed wood chips like these are one example of biomass.
TRUCKEE, Calif. — A national environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting nearly extinct species is appealing the latest approval in the proposed two-megawatt Cabin Creek Biomass Energy Facility process, officials confirmed Wednesday.
The Center for Biological Diversity submitted the appeal after the Placer County Planning Commission adopted a conditional use permit and certified the project’s final Environmental Impact Report on Dec. 20, said Brett Storey, Placer County project manager for the biomass facility, on Wednesday.The appeal, sent out Dec. 27, questions the analysis of the EIR regarding potential greenhouse gas emission amounts and the facility’s potential ripple effect on area forests and forest management, said Kevin Bundy, senior attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, on Wednesday.
REDD negotiations came to a grinding halt at the end of the first week of COP18 in Doha when Brazil and Norway disagreed over the verification of emission reductions from forests.
There were two tracks of negotiations on REDD in Doha: the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).
The following items were on the agenda in Doha – explained in more detail here:
- SBSTA: Reference levels; MRV and forest monitoring systems; Safeguards information systems; and Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.
- LCA: Finance and REDD.
The dispute over verification took place in the SBSTA negotiations. The Final SBSTA Text (FCCC/SBSTA/2012/L.31) consists of “Draft conclusions proposed by the Chair” – no decisions were made in Doha. The discussions will continue at the next SBSTA meeting, that will take place in June 2013 in Bonn. However, no decision on the SBSTA agenda items will be taken until COP19 at the end of 2013.
Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Doha/COP-18, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD
By Eileen O’Grady, 6 Dec 2012. Source: CNBC
HOUSTON – The largest U.S. biomass plant, a 100-megawatt facility that a Southern Co unit recently opened in east Texas, sits idle most days, unable to compete with cheaper natural gas-fired power plants.
The $500 million plant burns non-commercial wood and wood waste and began commercial operations in mid-July with much fanfare. Now some local vendors who serve the plant say they are losing money.
“I’m very concerned that the plant is not running,” said Jerry Don Williamson, Precinct 1 Commissioner in Nacogdoches County.
Output from Southern Power’s Nacogdoches Generating Facility, 145 miles (228 km) northeast of Houston, is sold to Austin Energy, a municipal utility serving the state capital, but Austin Energy only buys the power when it is economical, a spokesman said.
“It’s dispatched based on market economics,” said Austin Energy spokesman Ed Clark. “So it has not been running in recent time. Natural gas prices are very low and it’s not uncommon for a number of plants not to run.”
Note: This episode of Making Contact is based upon the Global Justice Ecology Project DVD “A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests,” produced earlier this year.
To order a copy of the DVD, which includes two bonus features, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To listen to the Making Contact episode, click the link below:
Saving or Selling the Planet? REDD, Climate Change and Indigenous Lands | National Radio Project.
Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Chiapas, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Commons, Earth Audio podcasts / MP3s, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Illegal logging, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
LONDON (UK), November 30, 2012 – Major farmland investors such as banks and pension funds must stop facilitating land grabs, say civil society groups  on the eve of a global farmland investment conference in London on 3-5 December. 
Banks and pension funds are increasingly engaging in large-scale acquisitions of land with extremely damaging consequences for local populations. The London conference will bring together funds with more than USD3 trillion in assets to explore opportunities for investments in Africa, Latin America and Russia.
The civil society groups are warning that pension funds and banks attending the conference, for instance Deutsche Bank, must ensure they do not fund risky investments that threaten the livelihoods and food sovereignty of countless local communities.
Filed under Africa, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Commons, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests