Wetland forests in the southern U.S. are becoming the victims of a drive for so-called green energy in Europe, according to activist group Dogwood Alliance, which has produced a new video highlighting the issue. The activists contend that bio-energy that depends on chopping down forests not only devastates vital ecosystems, but actually emits more greenhouse gases than traditional fossil fuels.
“Right now wetland hardwood forests from the coast of the Southern US are being clearcut to make wood pellets to burn in Europe to keep the lights on,” Scot Quaranda, campaign director with Dogwood Alliance. “This has got to stop, Europe should be investing in true renewable like wind and solar, not false solutions like burning Enviva’s wood pellets.”
According to a massive new forest analysis using Google’s cloud, the U.S. has lost over 25 million hectares of forest in all from 2000-2012, making it the third largest loss worldwide, even more than Indonesia. When re-growing forests are accounted for, however, U.S. net loss comes to 12.6 million hectares. The southern U.S. is a hotspot for deforestation.