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The dangers of establishing native forest based bioenergy projects to substitute for Australia’s ailing woodchip export trade, including the adverse climate impacts that would arise, are outlined today in a new report by environment group Markets For Change.

This report BIOMASSACRE – How logging Australia’s native forests for bioenergy harms the climate, wildlife, and people is being released to coincide with an industry conference in Melbourne called Residues to Revenues that advocates using wood to produce electricity and liquid fuels.

The new Biomassacre report:

• exposes serious adverse climate impacts of using native forests for bioenergy. Although touted by the forest industry as ‘carbon neutral’ the greenhouse gas emissions generated would take decades or even centuries to recover;

• outlines that a dramatic decline in woodchip export markets has prompted plans fill the void with biomass extraction for bioenergy on the spurious rationale that it is merely ‘waste’. In fact it will be the same as woodchipping, an enabler and driver of continued native forest logging, and just as contentious; and

• explains how native forest derived bioenergy may compete with and threaten genuine clean energy alternatives such as wind and solar

The target audience for the Biomassacre report is energy and liquid fuel retailers, plus their major customers and the ordinary household consumer.

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

“Logging and burning forests destroys wildlife habitat and releases massive greenhouse gas emissions that 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.”

“Consumers and corporations who want to do the right thing and move to genuinely clean and renewable energy sources are warned that investment in wind and solar energy could be undermined by bioenergy from native forests that is not actually climate friendly,” Ms Putt concluded.

Biomassacre is downloadable here: www.marketsforchange.org
CEO of Markets For Change, Peg Putt