Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 4, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

As biomass makes gains in Europe, ENGO’s question its sustainability

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 4, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

It’s a time of optimism in the biomass industry as the EU looks to bioenergy as a means to lower carbon emission and Toshiba announces plans to open a new plant in Japan. In contrasting news: campaigners say biomass threatens Europe’s forests; an ENGO lawsuit calls EU biomass a false solution; and green groups in France oppose coal to biomass conversions. Meanwhile, National Geographic has a GHG-explainer.

In other news: Toronto has plans for the tallest wood-framed office tower in North America; Haida Gwaii mapping reveals rare ecosystems; FSC Canada readies its new forestry standard; Ontario forest industry’s AGM highlights; and Oregon State University seeks to improve wildfire modelling.

Finally, how Australia’s bush fires generate their own lightning.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

John Horgan has gone missing in U.S. lumber dispute

By Andrew Wilkinson, leader, B.C. Liberal Party
The Abbotsford News
March 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Andrew Wilkinson

…Forestry touches almost every community across our province. It impacts more British Columbian families than any other industry. … But what have we seen in terms of leadership from the current government? Aside from initial bravado from Premier John Horgan about how easy the softwood lumber dispute would be for the NDP to solve, we’ve seen and heard precious little. The government has been silent on softwood lumber here at home, but even more disappointingly, south of the border. No wonder poll after poll shows that Americans and their legislators know nothing of this issue. It is the Premier’s job to fight for our forestry workers. The very person who should be highlighting this issue is instead arm in arm with American politicians and smiling in photo ops. He wants you to think that everything in the U.S.-B.C. relationship is fine.

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Grassy Narrows chief questions delay on promised mercury testing

By David Bruser
The Toronto Star
March 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

It has been almost four years since a retired labourer said that in 1972 he and some co-workers from the Dryden mill dumped barrels of salt and mercury into an earthen pit near the river that flows to Grassy Narrows First Nation. …Finally spurred to action, the province said it would soon dig up the clearing.That was a year ago. Nothing has happened. Grassy Narrows Chief Rudy Turtle wonders why. …An environment ministry spokesperson told the Star that officials are “carefully reviewing the options on how best to proceed.” …Mercury has not been used in paper production at the site in decades, and there is no suggestion Domtar, the current owner, is responsible for any ongoing source of mercury. …Scientist John Rudd has said, historically, paper mills have been known to be sources of contamination long after they stopped using mercury in the paper-bleaching process.

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Tariffs and slowing economy add to China’s pulp market uncertainty

By Fastmarkets RISI
Cision Newswire
March 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics

BOSTON — Where China leads, global markets follow – and the path ahead for its pulp and paper industry is uncertain. China’s GDP expansion slowed markedly in 2018, pulp prices have moderated following the third-longest price runup in recent history, and new trade restrictions threaten to stifle demand for wood fiber and finished goods. Still, China’s fundamentals will sustain growth in key segments over the next decade, finds… a new Special Study from Fastmarkets RISI. “The entire industry is asking whether it faces a pause in Chinese growth, or if the market is at the precipice of the next global recession and a collapse in demand,” said David Fortin, Fastmarkets RISI Vice President. “Our base case forecast assumes growth will resume, but many risks remain.” 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

WOODRISE 2019: Registration is now open!

WoodRise 2019
March 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Starting now, you can register for Woodrise 2019—the international conference on mid-rise and high-rise wood-building construction—which will be held in Quebec City, from September 30 to October 4, 2019. This unique event, with the theme of “Building our cities for future generations,” is designed to be a unique international forum that will bring together all the major stakeholders who have joined forces to make wood THE essential material for the development of tomorrow’s sustainable cities. Don’t wait any longer, registration is now open… Register now! WOODRISE is designed for everyone involved in the construction industry and its main objective is to bring together decision-makers and construction professionals through conferences and presentations, inter-company exchanges, plenary sessions, technical workshops, and other activities of interest.

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A tall wood office tower for Toronto’s waterfront

By Alex Bozikovic
The Globe and Mail
March 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Toronto’s waterfront could soon get the tallest wood-framed office tower in North America. And it’s not being built by Google or Sidewalk Labs. The developer Hines announce their plans for a new office building on Monday, a proposed project by the prominent Danish architects 3XN that will move the science and art of wood building forward. It would reach 40.7 metres in height, making it one of the tallest timber-framed buildings – and the tallest such office tower – in North America. Mass timber buildings have been in the news over the past few months, as the Google sister company Sidewalk Labs explores its ambition to build an entire district out of mass timber, with towers reaching unprecedented heights of 20 or more storeys. …The Hines building on Queens Quay East, of about 270,000 square feet, is less dramatic than that, but more realistic.

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Forestry

Keeping an Eye on Canada’s Deforestation

By The Canadian Forest Service’s Deforestation Monitoring Group
Natural Resources Canada
March 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Canada considers it important to track deforestation in order to report internationally on human-induced changes to our forests. Deforestation is an issue of global importance. While human pressures call for more land for living space, food production and resource extraction, the conversion of forests to non-forest land uses contributes to the acceleration of climate change and biodiversity loss. The term “deforestation” is used to mean different things in different contexts. Sometimes, it is mistakenly used to refer to all forest cover losses.  The internationally agreed definition1 of deforestation is the direct human-induced conversion of forest to non-forest land. This means deforestation does not include temporary forest cover changes such as those caused by wildfire, insect damage or forest harvest, where the forest will regrow. Deforestation specifically refers to forest land-use conversion, such as for residential development, agriculture, mining, transportation or hydroelectric use, among others. 

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Forest group readies ambitious new standards for sustainable industry

By Ian Bickis
Canadian Press in the Victoria Times Colonist
March 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

A new bar will soon be set on what counts as sustainable forestry, holding potential implications for the future of the woodland caribou and of the forestry industry itself. After years of debate, the Canadian division of the Forest Stewardship Council hopes to have its updated forest management standards approved by its international body in the coming weeks to set an example for lawmakers and companies.  “This new national standard is ahead of any current forest industry laws in the country,” said Francois Dufresne, president of FSC Canada. …The proposed standard will set what forestry companies have to do to get a stamp of approval from the FSC, which customers like Rona Inc. and Lululemon Athletica then use to show environmental credentials. It’s one of several certification programs companies voluntarily choose to sign on to and be audited against as a way of verifying sustainability claims.

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Columbia Basin Trust gives $3 million for healthier ecosystems

By Sheri Regnier
BC Local News
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

With a $3 million boost from Columbia Basin Trust, five large-scale projects will be significantly improving ecosystem health, bringing areas closer to their natural states and improving habitat for many species. The projects are being initiated and supported through Columbia Basin Trust’s (Trust) Ecosystem Enhancement Program. The projects will take place around Kootenay Lake and the Southern Rocky Mountain Trench. They will enhance and restore areas of alpine, forest and wetland habitat. “Many Basin residents told us they would like the Trust to support larger scale habitat restoration across the Basin,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer. “These projects are going to involve meaningful and measurable on-the-ground work that will make a difference to Basin ecosystems.”

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Making connections: Q&A with senior forester Cheryl Hodder

By Maria Church
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cheryl Hodder

Cheryl Hodder is a planning and silviculture manager with Conifex Timber for the company’s Mackenzie and Fort St. James sawmills in northern B.C. Reflecting on her 21-year career, the registered professional forester says personal connections and mentorship are essential to seeing more women enter and stay in the forestry workforce. …What advice do you have for women interested in a career as a forester? It’s fantastically rewarding, so stick with it, stay in. I would say to look for those opportunities where it fits with your life. Seek out women and men who can be mentors and you can connect with. There can be more than one. I think those people are important to both personal and professional growth.

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Island Voices: Don’t unravel the region’s hard-fought green legacy

By Alison Spriggs, Wilderness Committee and The Land Conservancy
Victoria Times Colonist
March 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the early 1990s, Ray Zimmerman strolled into the Wilderness Committee office loaded with maps, photos and intention. He had an idea … [to create a] corridor of protected wild forests and marine areas stretching from Saanich Inlet, through the Sooke Hills to the Sooke Basin. Zimmerman called it the Sea to Sea Greenbelt and it caught on. …This bold initiative now protects more than 100 square kilometres on the capital region’s western horizon. …In a 1997 statement, the B.C. government announced creation of Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park… Now the province is considering opening an alternative highway through Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park. It’s hard to imagine that this NDP government would unravel its own green legacy or that the B.C. Greens would stand by or, worse, endorse a transportation option so very brown. …There are solutions … that don’t involve punching an emergency route through the heart of this precious protected area.

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Public Invited To Learn More About Forestry In Our Region

By Sharon Vanhouwe
My Cowichan Valley Now
March 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The North Cowichan Council has heard the public request for pause and public consultation when it comes to logging in our community forests. According to the advocacy group, Where Do We Stand, they have responded with a commitment to public consultation, input, openness, collaboration, accountability, and transparency. Group member Icel Dobell said now it’s up to the citizens of North Cowichan, to support Council, staff, and the newly reconfigured Forest Advisory Committee by staying involved and informed, and to that end the public is invited to a public assembly Tuesday at the Performing Arts Centre.

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Mapping project on Haida Gwaii reveals rare ecosystems

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
March 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Looking at the landscape of Naikoon Provincial Park on Haida Gwaii, Sharilynn Wardrop was left with more questions than answers. A hand-drawn map created in the 1980s revealed little about the park’s bog, beach, dunes and lush rainforests. Wardrop, a BC Parks protected areas applied ecologist, and other experts, knew it was time to chronicle Naikoon’s ecosystems through terrestrial ecosystem mapping …The project wound up revealing rare ecosystems found nowhere else in the province. “The plant assemblages just aren’t like what we see in other places…” said Wardrop, noting a partnership between the Haida Nation, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the Knowledge Management Branch of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy was already in place to do work in the area, along with a plan to map all of Haida Gwaii. A big missing piece was Naikoon Provincial Park.

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RCMP arrest three individuals in relation to logging demonstration near Meadow Creek

The Boundary Sentinel
March 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

RCMP officers in the Central Kootenay confirmed in a media release Friday the arrest of three individuals earlier this week after they allegedly obstructed vehicles entering a worksite north of Kaslo near Meadow Creek. RCMP said on February 26, 2019 just before 7 a.m. Kaslo RCMP were conducting pro-active patrols on the Deception Fire Service Road near Meadow Creek, when they observed a large line-up of logging and light trucks, stopped on the roadway near the two-kilometre mark. Police said at the front of the lineup, officers allegedly located a wooden blockade which was obstructing the trucks entry into a logging site.  “A 42-year-old woman from Balfour, a 36-year-old man from Meadow Creek and a 66-year-old man from Argenta, were arrested for Intimidation after allegedly refusing to remove the blockade,” the RCMP media release said. “All three have since been released from custody and are expected to appear in court at a later date.”

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How wood ash could save Muskoka’s watershed from ‘ecological osteoporosis’

By Alison Brownlee
Muskoka Region News
February 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Norman Yan

MUSKOKA — Wood ash could save Muskoka’s lakes and forests — but a controlled and collaborative effort is needed, says Friends of the Muskoka Watershed. Dr. Norman Yan, chair for the non-profit environmental research and advocacy organization, told District of Muskoka engineering and public works committee members in early 2019 that residents, researchers, government, maple syrup producers and other partners could collaboratively replenish calcium in the region’s watershed by collecting and carefully distributing cold nonindustrial wood ash in specific forests within the watershed. …Plants, he said, need calcium as well. But the nutrient’s rates in Muskoka’s forests, soil and lakes are in steep decline. “And scientists have coined the phrase ‘ecological osteoporosis’ to refer the problem of widespread environmental calcium decline,” he said. Yan said the main cause of calcium decline is acid rain, which has stripped tonnes of calcium from the land.

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Ontario Supporting the Important Contribution Made by Trappers

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forest
March 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s Government for the People recognizes the important contribution the trapping industry makes to the province’s economy and sustainable management of Ontario’s wildlife. John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announced that the government is investing $1.1 million in the Ontario Fur Managers Federation to support the administration of the Ministry’s trapping education program and licence services for Ontario’s trappers and trapping instructors. …Trapping is an effective wildlife management tool for regulating population numbers of furbearer species such as coyotes, beavers and raccoons. Trappers also play an important role in reducing human-wildlife conflicts such as damage to property as a result of flooding caused by beavers.

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OFIA’s 76th annual meeting highlights need for public education, consultation

By Ellen Cools
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
March 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ed Wawia, Roger Sigouin & Wendy Landry,

What does forestry mean for the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA)? For OFIA, forestry is business, people and science. That was the theme of the association’s 76th annual meeting and convention, held Wednesday in Toronto. In her opening remarks, Jamie Lim, president and CEO of OFIA, touched upon a few key issues for the Ontario forest industry, including sustainability and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) review. For Lim, sustainability is not just a buzz word. “Our future viability, from both a business and a lifestyle perspective, depends on a healthy forest,” she said. She emphasized the need for continued government support in order to correct public misconceptions about the industry. Speaking of support from the provincial government, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski addressed the crowd in the morning, encouraging attendees to participate in the ESA review. 

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Making Forests Stronger through Active Management

By Beth Rands, US Forest Service
US Department of Agriculture
March 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

For years, catastrophic wildfires have threatened forests throughout the country. Wildfires have increased in both size and severity, and with them the risks to communities, natural resources, and firefighter safety. Trees, grass, and shrubs, whether in vast wilderness areas or in the landscaping around our homes, can all fuel wildfires. Even green trees and brush can burn as quickly as dead, dry branches when stressed by drought, disease, or overcrowding. Active management can promote healthy vegetation, change the way wildfire moves across a landscape, or reintroduce fire as part of the natural ecosystem. Working with states, tribes, and other partners in Shared Stewardship (PDF, 3.6 MB), the Forest Service tries to mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfire by actively managing the landscape and the fuels upon it. By increasing the spacing between trees and bushes and removing dead and fallen vegetation, we can create a better chance for healthy trees and plants to withstand a wildfire.

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Oregon State University study could improve wildfire modeling

By Stephen Hamway
The Bulletin
March 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An Oregon State University project backed by more than $2 million in federal money could help firefighters better predict how wildfires behave in Central Oregon and beyond. A team from OSU’s College of Engineering was chosen by the U.S. Department of Defense to spearhead a four-year research project to determine what conditions affect the way different plants and shrubs burn. David Blunck, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and team leader, said the study, which is slated to begin this summer, could make wildfire projections more accurate and may ultimately improve the conversation regarding when and how trees burn. “I think this could really change how people see it,” Blunck said. Rather than focusing just on how different trees burn, Blunck’s team plans to examine how temperature and the presence of flammable gases impact fuel conditions.

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Keep pine beetle efforts funded

By the Editorial Board
Rapid City Journal
March 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Gov. Kristi Noem’s budget minders have requested the return of $705,101 earlier appropriated for the state’s mountain pine beetle mitigation fund and already purposed. The beetle scourge (1997-2017) that turned a third of the Black Hills National Forest reddish brown has ended, argues Laura Williams of Noem’s Bureau of Finance and Management. “Now that the mountain pine beetle epidemic has ended, that money is no longer needed,” Williams testified recently at a Capitol hearing. No, not needed for the last epidemic, but what about the next? The beetle is still there, biding its time for the next perfect feast – hills densely packed with mature pines stressed by drought. Someday, the tiny black devils will again roar through our vulnerable forest like slow wildfire – precisely like the wildfires bound to follow – until they consume all available fuel.

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Department of Environmental Conservation to host meetings on forest tax law

By Justin A. Levine
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise
March 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The state Department of Environmental Conservation will host a series of public meetings around the state in March on how a forest tax law can be improved.  The 480-a Forest Tax Law provides tax incentives for owners of 50 or more acres of forest lands, provided the owners develop a forest management plan and produce forest products. “An owner must first decide if he or she is willing to commit land to the production of forest crops and to follow a management plan, prepared by a forester and approved DEC, for the next succeeding ten years beginning each year that they receive a tax exemption,” the DEC explains. “If this analysis shows that a tax reduction can be obtained, a forester should be consulted for professional advice about the approximate costs of preparing a management plan and making investments in the forest which may be required by the plan.

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Jackson County timber officials talk the current timber situation

By Ashton Williams
My Panhandle.com
March 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MARIANNA, Fla – Senator Rick Scott is still pushing for extra funding and assistance for those affected by hurricane Michael. His most recent focus has been that of the timber industry. Wanting to get more funding to help timber landowners restore their forests.  Jackson County timber farmers are working diligently to get as much timber off the ground as quickly as possible. But because of the amount of destruction senior forester, Barry Stafford, feels a lot will be left behind, causing landowners to suffer even more. “There’s going to be so much of it that’s not going to be picked up,” said Stafford. “It’s bad enough that they can’t get any money for their salvaged because prices are like a dollar or two a ton for it, so they’re getting very little than what they would have before the hurricane.” 

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Forestry student numbers grow

Sun Live
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology’s woodsman course has attracted a record number of students following a shortage of qualified forestry workers. Forestry operations programme manager Richard Stringfellow is pleased with the number of students participating in the course at an institute such as Toi Ohomai which prepares students for forestry work. “The course is only offered at our Mokoia Campus and we had 10 students sign up to do it before Christmas. On the first day, all 10 students turned up and even though 70 per cent of them had been living outside of Rotorua, they chose to move here to study. “The course is highly rated by the industry and students because there is a focus on machine operating and quality control, which are skills that are highly valued.”

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Why Victoria’s bushfires generated their own lightning

By Liam Mannix
The Sydney Mornng Herald
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — There are few sights more terrifying for a firefighter: a vast, dark storm cloud brewing above a bushfire, shooting out lightning. On Sunday, the Licola bushfire east of Melbourne… generated a huge thundercloud that blasted more than 1200 lightning strikes at nearby forests, igniting several small fires. …As a bushfire burns, it generates hot, smoke-filled air. … The smoke plume is filled with moisture which is released by burning trees. The higher you go in the atmosphere, the cooler it gets, so the top parts of the plume get chilled. …As the plume rises rapidly into the sky, cool air is sucked in to replace it. This causes extreme winds near the firefront. …As the cloud races up into the sky, it enters the freezing upper reaches of the atmosphere. …You end up with a cloud full of ash, ice, and powerful winds. The winds bash the ice chunks together in the cloud, building up static electricity. That electricity wants to get to ground. And it does.

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Europe’s forests threatened by biodiversity collapse, warn campaigners

By Arthur Neslen
The Guardian
March 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A logging operation at Poland’s spectacular 55-mile-long Vistula lagoon is casting a “dark omen” of deforestation and biodiversity collapse across Europe’s forests, campaigners say. Tree felling around the Natura 2000 site is aimed at clearing a path to the Baltic Sea for use by Poland’s navy, to the alarm of Russia. But they are just one front in what some academics describe as a war on nature. Campaigners blame the EU’s own use of biomass to meet most of its renewable energy goals for encouraging logging in Europe’s virgin forests. The EU expects to lose about 125m tonnes of carbon sequestration potential from forests between 2010 and 2030, with countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Austria transforming from carbon sinks to carbon sources.

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Twenty Northland men start forestry training under Billion Trees scheme

New Zealand Herald
March 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Pita Tipene

The Government’s One Billion Trees scheme is starting to pay dividends in Northland, with 20 young men from Kaikohe and Moerewa starting on the new Ngā Māhuri o Ngāti Hine Mānuka Plantation Training Programme where they will earn while they learn. They will start their journey as forestry industry trainees on Monday, in the first part of a two-year programme funded by the Billion Tree fund through Te Uru Rākau and supported by the Ministry for Primary Industries Economic Development Unit. Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust is partnering with Johnson Contractors to deliver a “learn while you earn” approach to L2 Forestry Training. …”The programme will see our 2019 trainees plant about 200ha of mānuka seedlings on Ngāti Hine lands. In 2020, a course will run with another 20 trainees to plant additional Ngāti Hine lands up to a total of 400-plus ha.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Sustainable Biomass: What’s Ahead for New Markets

By Seth Ginther
Biomass Magazine
March 1, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

It’s a time of optimism in the wood biomass industry. Not only is there growing recognition that sustainable biomass is a viable climate solution, governments are increasingly incorporating it into policies that will help them achieve their low-carbon and renewable energy goals for the next decade and beyond. Chief among these policies is the European Union’s revised Renewable Energy Directive for 2012-’30 (or RED II), which has been a major focus for us at the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association. The RED II effort to harmonize bioenergy sustainability across EU Member States… positive influence it can have on the trade of wood pellets. The final RED II supports bioenergy as a pathway to lowering carbon emissions, and allows Member States to use sustainable imported biomass to achieve the low-carbon and renewable energy goals recommended in the Paris Agreement.

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Burning wood for power breaches EU treaty, new lawsuit claims

By Megan Darby
Climate Change News
March 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Campaigners are seeking to stop the EU counting wood as a renewable energy source, in a lawsuit filed at the Court of Justice on Monday. Plaintiffs from six European countries and the US argue that burning biomass for heat and power is a false solution to climate change. The EU Renewable Energy Directive promotes logging of ancient forests, according to the brief, contravening the bloc’s higher principles and individuals’ rights. …Nearly two thirds of EU renewables come from various forms of bioenergy, with more projects in planning. … A spokesperson for the European Commission climate change division would not comment on the legal merits of the case. The commission’s policy framework aimed to guarantee “sustainable development of bioenergy, while at the same time enhancing the role of land and forests as carbon sinks,” she said.

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Toshiba to build biomass power plant in Fukuoka

By Sousuke Kudou
Japan Today
March 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

TOKYO — Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp, based in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, will build a thermal power plant using imported biomass as fuel in Omuta City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Toshiba Energy Systems will build new facilities in an area adjacent to the Mikawa power plant, a biomass power plant owned by Sigma Power Ariake Co Ltd, which is affiliated with Toshiba Energy Systems. The new biomass power plant is expected to combust only biomass (imported palm shells) as fuel. …The plant is scheduled to start operation in the spring of 2022. [END]

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Greenhouse gases, explained

By Christina Nunez
National Geographic
March 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

By trapping heat from the sun, greenhouse gases have kept Earth’s climate habitable for humans and millions of other species. But the same gases that were once beneficial now are out of balance and threaten to change drastically which living things can survive on this planet—and where. Atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are now higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years. …Major greenhouse gases and sources: Carbon dioxide (CO2)… Methane (CH4)… Nitrous Oxide (N2O)… Industrial gases… Other greenhouse gases include water vapor and ozone (O3). …The technologies for ramping down greenhouse gas emissions already exist, for the most part. They include swapping fossil fuels for renewable sources, boosting energy efficiency, and discouraging carbon emissions. (Read more about such solutions here.)

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France ‘must close coal plants rather than convert to biomass’

By Jonny Bairstow
Energy Live News
March 1, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Environmental groups from around the world have joined forces to call for France’s coal plants to be shut down, rather than being converted to biomass. In an open letter, 46 green groups from 19 countries have urged French Environment Minister François de Rugy to deny permission to convert the Cordemais coal-fired power station or any other similar facility to biomass. EDF currently hopes to switch the facility to burning mostly wood pellets alongside a small proportion of coal – the campaigner groups warn that the proposals are not compatible with the French government’s commitment to meet the goals of the international Paris Agreement. …They suggest burning forest biomass is still a carbon-intensive and polluting form of energy generation and believe governments should instead push for more renewable infrastructure to be built instead.

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