Native forest-based bioenergy projects a climate risk: report

Native forests are not renewableThere is significant risk in establishing native forest-based bioenergy projects to substitute for Australia’s ailing woodchip export trade, including adverse climate impacts, according to a new report by environment group Markets For Change.

The report, released to coincide with an industry conference in Melbourne called ‘Residues to Revenues’, questions the push to use forest wood to produce electricity and liquid fuels.

It says such a move would involve loss of carbon stores that would likely take decades or even centuries to recover.

The report authors also suggest biomass extraction for bioenergy will be the same as woodchipping, an enabler and driver of continued native forest logging, and just as contentious.

Woodchipping has underpinned the assault of industrial logging on Australia’s native forests, and it will be the same with plans to continue broad scale logging to feed the bulk of the felled trees into electricity or liquid biofuel production, said CEO of Markets For Change, Peg Putt.

Besides destroying wildlife habitat it would also exacerbate global warming.

This report scuttles the claim that native forest bioenergy projects would merely use waste, the research also revealing that they are risky developments dependent on public subsidies.

Report available here:

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