Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Wayne Delbeke – the Guardian has just noticed that a rise in demand for wood chips, for “green” biomass power schemes, has led an increase in logging, including legally dubious clearances of large swathes of protected forests.
Protected forests in Europe felled to meet EU renewable targets – report
Europe’s bioenergy plants are burning trees felled from protected conservation areas rather than using forest waste, new report shows.
Protected forests are being indiscriminately felled across Europe to meet the EU’s renewable energy targets, according to an investigation by the conservation group Birdlife.
Up to 65% of Europe’s renewable output currently comes from bioenergy, involving fuels such as wood pellets and chips, rather than wind and solar power.
Bioenergy fuel is supposed to be harvested from residue such as forest waste but, under current legislation, European bioenergy plants do not have to produce evidence that their wood products have been sustainably sourced.
Birdlife found logging taking place in conservation zones such as Poloniny national park in eastern Slovakia and in Italian riverside forests around Emilia-Romagna, where it said it had been falsely presented as flood-risk mitigation.
The referenced report, which details forest destruction around the world, not just in Europe, is available here.
I’m shocked – who would have thought that providing billions of dollars of government subsidies for greedy corporatists to generate impractical amounts of electricity from “renewable” biomass, no questions asked, would lead to corruption, kickbacks, and large scale destruction of the world’s protected woodlands?