The new th-RET to our forests

A plan to approve the burning of public native forests for electricity generation is back on the federal agenda. It could be passed on May 12 when parliament resumes. Planned changes to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will include approval of forest furnace electricity to be defined as ‘renewable energy’.

When the ALP were in power, the environment movement managed to stop the previous plan. This time we know the Lib/Nats have pledged to vote for it, and Labor will likely vote against it. It comes down to the independent cross benchers in the Senate. The logging industry has been lobbying the eight cross benchers, so we have to counter the false claims and misinformation that has been circulated.


Sign the petition  and pass it on to others.

Email or call and leave a message at the senators’ offices of these four cross benchers. Below are some reasons if you feel you need details beyond just being appalled at the idea.

Ricky Muir (03) 5144 3639

Glenn Lazarus (07) 3001 8940

Nick Xenophon 08 8232 1144

Zhenya Wang (02) 6277 3843,

John Madigan   (03) 5331 2321

If you need a few reasons …

Native forest biomass for ‘renewable’ electricity generation would: 

  • need to be subsidised but would provide few jobs.
  • be counter to the purpose of the Renewable Energy Target – which is to encourage the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • deplete secured carbon stores by logging trees 100 plus years old.
  • release thousands of tonnes of CO2
  • produce between 1.5 – 6 times more CO2 emissions than coal, per unit of energy produced.
  • give perverse incentives for forest destruction by awarding Renewable Energy Certificates
  • see more than just logging ‘waste’ used, as whole logs are more economical to cart and process (European example).
  • replace the dying and voracious export woodchip market for Japanese papermakers.
  • increase demand for more wood once power companies begin to rely on forest biomass.
  • not be ‘sustainable’ despite such cheap placations by the logging industry.
  • cause environmental degradation over vast tracts for native forest, associated loss of wildlife and reduction in water yields.
  • not mimic the European biomass power generation experience due to different climates, tree species, water supplies, geography, population and so on.
  • Destroy the very mechanisms which are considered the most effective land based carbon capture and storage devices know that help mitigate climate impacts.

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