Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Environment

Loss of carbon sinks

Simon Branigan Environment Tasmania MR
Tasmania’s peak environment body is pushing for native forest biomass to be scrapped from acceptance as a renewable energy source in the Federal government’s proposed Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000[1].
MEDIA RELEASE – 23/2/2009

ENVIRONMENT BODY PUSHES FOR NATIVE FOREST POWER TO BE SCRAPPED FROM RENEWABLE ENERGY SCHEME

Tasmania’s peak environment body is pushing for native forest biomass to be scrapped from acceptance as a renewable energy source in the Federal government’s proposed Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000[1].

The body has argued that the logging and burning of native forests is leading to the loss of some of the Southern Hemisphere’s most important carbon sinks, and that including native forest biomass as a renewable energy source would create a perverse incentive to burn native forests as a so-called renewable power source.

“Tasmania’s native forests are some of the most carbon dense forests on the face of the planet – with scientific research showing that they can store up to 10 times more carbon per hectare than previously accounted for[2],” said Simon Branigan, Environment Tasmania’s policy coordinator.

“These forests provide crucial ecosystem services such as clean air, clean water, habitat for endangered species and landscape values for the benefit of our billion dollar tourism industry and the community as a whole. Just as importantly – they are huge carbon sinks that provide a powerful and crucial buffer against global warming,”

“The idea of burning native forests in a furnace to create electricity and then call that electricity ‘renewable’ is absolutely absurd – and would make a farce of our renewable energy scheme and undermine future community support,”

“If the government is serious about tackling climate change – it is critical that they remove native forest as an eligible renewable energy source,” he concluded.

Environment Tasmania is Tasmania’s conservation council, an umbrella body that represents 25 Tasmanian conservation groups, with collective representation of over 6000 Tasmanians.

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[1] Please see attached submission

[2] Mackay, BG, Keith, H, Berry, SL & Lindenmayer, DB 2008, ‘Part 1, A green carbon account of Australia’s south-eastern

Eucalypt forest, and policy implications’, in Green Carbon: the role of natural forests in carbon storage, The Fenner School of

Environment & Society, The Australian National University.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Frank Strie

    February 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Think forests – think responsible management – not simply logging versus no logging.
    The whole term – “burning forests for e-power” sounds dramatic,(clearly due to fear and because of mistrust.
    Responsible, best practice forest and catchment managemnt of (regrowth)forests and forested landscapes for all values,(outside high conservation value forests and “no go” reserves) does include wood & timber and the byproduct should also be the potential biofuel through pyrolysis.
    I realise that there is no trust left in the present woodchip export industry and Forestry Tasmania, however, provided the local community and ENGOs have direct input in forest planning, this embargo on biofuel from forests is not a sustainable way to protect forests from damage.

    That’s why the international Forest Stewardship Council process should be promoted in Tasmania.
    What kind of forests would you suggest would provide the fuelwood?
    Clearfelling and simplistic “take away” -logging has to end, I agree, no biofuel for power without proper changes to forest management practices.
    Here
    the latest science based Climate Briefing Note on Bio-Char http://www.igsd.org/docs/Biochar%20Note%2015%20Dec%202008.pdf
    provided by the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

    … Durwood Zaelke, President of IGSD attended UNEP’s Governing Council meeting in Nairobi last week to urge fast action on black carbon and other strategies that can produce
    fast climate mitigation, including using the Montreal Protocol ozone treaty to quickly phase-down HFCs that have high global warming potential,
    and expanding the production of biochar, which is a carbon negative strategy that can significantly reduce current CO2 concentrations on
    decadal timescales.

    “The UNEP and World Bank reports are clear: the world is facing serious danger, and we have to take urgent and aggressive action now — starting
    with black carbon reductions — to avoid devastating consequences of passing tipping points,” added Zaelke.

    Website: http://www.igsd.org

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