The company’s rapid downfall raises questions about how it can supply its annual 6 million metric tons of wood pellets to the UK, EU and Asia, and how nations relying on biomass to meet energy and climate commitments will cope.
The world’s largest producer of biomass for energy, Enviva, has seen its stock price tumble, as operational, financial and legal problems pile up, with investors possibly also concerned about the company’s tarnished green image.
Revisions to the long-debated European Union Renewable Energy Directive (RED) have been approved. Those policies still support the burning of wood pellets to make energy, despite evidence of harm to forests and climate, say NGOs.
Last July, as the Ukraine war raged, the EU barred all Russian woody biomass imports; even as South Korea took in Russia’s supply. Illicit woody biomass may also still be flowing to the EU from Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
A Mongabay story featuring a whistleblower who debunked the green claims of Enviva — the world’s largest wood pellet maker — has prompted the Dutch to ban subsidies to biomass firms who make false sustainability claims.
An existing regulation designating the burning of forests to make energy as being renewable has been reversed in Australia. That decision seems unlikely to alter the EU’s heavy commitment to biomass burning.
Policymakers could finalize revisions to the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive by year end, even as forest activists offer new evidence denouncing wood pellets as an energy source, and calling for an end to subsidies.
A biomass industry insider tells Mongabay in exclusive interviews that Enviva, the world’s largest maker of wood pellets for energy, is disingenuous in its green, eco-friendly claims to the public and stockholders.
While forest advocates had high hopes, the EU parliament voted this week not to declassify woody biomass as a renewable energy source, paving the way for more EU, U.S., and Canadian forests to be turned into wood pellets and burned.
The UK and EU were the primary users of woody biomass for energy. But Japan and South Korea have drastically stepped up their burning of wood pellets — potentially threatening forests, biodiversity, and the climate.
For the first time, a portion of the EU government has challenged the sustainability of burning forest biomass to make energy, a controversial policy pushed by the forestry industry but condemned by environmentalists.
Japan and South Korea are increasingly burning biomass, such as wood pellets, to make energy, with potentially adverse impacts on the global climate, deforestation and biodiversity.
The E.U. continues to struggle with the irony of a commitment to conserving forests, while also burning forest biomass and ignoring the carbon emissions that causes — all in order to achieve a mandate to end burning oil, gas and coal.
The Glasgow climate summit is failing to address the danger of burning forests to make energy — a practice classified as carbon neutral, though science shows that its emissions exceed that of coal per unit of energy produced.
With humanity emitting more carbon skyward, nature-based climate solutions — and their ecosystem carbon storage capacity — are put at risk by agribusiness and extraction industries. Will world leaders act in time to conserve forests?
New research has tracked biomass industry carbon emissions, finding that U.S. wood pellet production, transatlantic shipping, and U.K. and E.U. pellet burning, plus a loss of stored forest carbon, combine in substantial unreported emissions.
The EU and the forestry industry say burning wood to make energy is carbon neutral and cleaner than coal. But critics say biomass is a disaster for forests, biodiversity and the climate. Mongabay reviews the evidence on both sides.
The biomass industry says that burning wood to make energy is carbon neutral. Environmentalists say biomass is a disaster for forests, biodiversity and the climate. Mongabay reviews independent scientific evidence on both sides.
In lead up to EU forest biomass “carbon neutrality” decision, European Commission Exec. VP Frans Timmermans argues in favor of forest conservation, while also favoring burning wood to make “transition” energy.
Scientists implore US, EU, Japan, South Korea and UK to stop harvesting forests to turn into wood pellets to burn as fuel at converted coal-burning power plants; a policy the UN has erroneously condoned as “carbon neutral.”
Michael Regan, President Biden’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2019 saw no climate benefit to the production of wood pellets in North Carolina to make energy abroad; what will he do at EPA?
The forest biomass industry is booming, with forests in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Eastern Europe cut to provide wood pellets for burning at former coal power plants in the UK, EU and Asia.
A UN carbon accounting loophole that replaces coal with the burning of forests to make “carbon neutral” electricity is subsidy-driven and will destroy forests vitally needed now for carbon sequestration: Critics.
The government of South Korea is subsidizing the development of biomass power so heavily that it’s hindering the adoption of renewable energy technologies like solar and wind, new research finds.…
Subsidizing burning wood for energy as having zero emissions puts us at risk of overshooting the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target.
Stretching across the southeastern U.S., wetland forests provide ecosystem services totaling $500 billion, according to a 2018 report by environmental watchdog group Dogwood Alliance. Today, America’s natural wetland forests exist…
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