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Category Archives: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Advancing Climate Change Science in Canada

Government of Canada
November 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council have partnered to launch new funding for climate change research. This initiative supports the Targeted Federal Climate Change Science Plan and aims to strengthen collaborative efforts among federal policy-makers and scientists and the academic community in the context of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The $4.8M in funding will support the following research objectives: Heat: to help protect the health of Canadians through advancing innovation for energy efficient cooling technologies, such as the cooling potential of natural infrastructures; Forests: accelerate knowledge of ecosystem services in the context of climate change, such as the role of forests and trees as natural infrastructure in increasing climate resilience, mitigating climate change, human health and wellbeing, and promoting biodiversity in urban or rural landscapes; and Carbon cycle: to improve understanding of carbon dynamics in Canadian ecosystems, with a focus on how to quantify, protect, and enhance natural carbon sinks.

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Birds indicate environmental health — many are headed for extinction

By Gail Gatton, executive director – Audubon Washington and Gary Langham, chief scientist – National Audubon Society
The Hill
November 4, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

For anyone who has known the joy of watching a Rufous Hummingbird zip through their backyard, supping at nectar-filled flowers, or hearing the distinctive call of a brood of Trumpeter Swans at dusk, the urgency of climate change cannot be ignored. Yet, despite the many warnings over the past decades, we continue to release billions of pounds of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. As a result, our climate is changing faster than we — or the many diverse species — around us can adapt. But we have hope, because we have the tools and technology right now to build the clean energy economy we deserve. All we need is the political will to make it happen. …With the midterm elections just a few days away, we have a chance to vote for a stable climate for the birds, for ourselves and for future generations. We must act now on climate change. We have already waited too long.

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A Breakthrough Biomass Fuel

By José-Luis Rivas
Biomass Magazine
October 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

José-Luis Rivas

There are many efforts from different industries to find solutions that can help us and our children live in a better, cleaner world. Among many others, three of the most important are reducing CO2 emissions, the initiative to diminish the pollution of plastics from the oceans, and the development of sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. What if a solid fuel made mainly from biomass could help with more than one of these efforts? ERS Fuel Inc. has created precisely that. Manufactured from woody biomass scientifically combined with a specific polymer, its unique fuel puck has capabilities that make it very versatile on multiple levels that go beyond what was the original idea when invented. …The company plans to build a commercial-scale facility to service customers with fuel for home heating.

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Turning smoke and slash into pellets and cash

By Andru McCracken
The Rocky Mountain Goat
November 19, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Massive piles of leftover wood in the McBride Community Forest will be turned into heat and electricity in Europe and Asia, according to Don Steele, chief executive officer of Pacific Bioenergy. That’s good news for the community forest, as it hasn’t been able to burn its slash piles in over three years due to air quality constraints. Vancouver-based Pacific Bioenergy has now secured funding from the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia to grind, ship and sell the waste wood as a part of an experiment to determine how they can incorporate cedar into their fuel. The company has been turning waste wood into pellets for 25 years. It has a pellet plant in Prince George, Chetwynd and Fort St. John and and a wood waste partnership in Quesnel. The pellets are largely shipped overseas.

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Fast growing hybrid hardwoods could help in future biomass plants

By Jim Hilton
The Williams Lake Tribune
November 16, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the Cariboo Region with the ongoing impacts of the bark beetles along with the recent mega fires two years in a row there are new needs for research and development projects. …What species and species mixes may be the best to cope with drier climates and impending shortfalls in the short and midterm fibre production. …There may be some answers from work being done on a research site south of the University of Alberta. Canadian Wood Fibre Centre staff have been planting and evaluating fast growing poplar, aspen and willow species with some amazing production rates. …While I would not be in favour of huge areas being planted to hybrid species there could certainly be economic advantages to have some of these stands surrounding any biomass facility.

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First Things First Okanagan speaker explores climate change and B.C. wildfires

By Barry Gerding
Pentiction Western News
October 30, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rob Gray

Climate change is not as bad as you think it might be. It’s worse. The gloom and doom scenario is the current reality of how extreme temperatures are changing our environment and accelerating the risk of floods in the spring and forest fires in the summer, says Rob Gray, a forestry fire science analyst. “The current weather trend is a bit worrying. It appears we are going to have a mild winter so the drought conditions of the past two years are likely to carry over to next year,” said Gray.  “I did a podcast for CBC back in the spring of 2017 talking longer fire seasons, less snow in the winter, less precipitation in the summer and more dry lightning, look for that to start to kick in more within another two decades, and that’s what happened in 2017 and again in 2018.

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Climate change will heat up cities and rural areas differently

By Emily Chung
CBC News
November 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Climate change isn’t the only thing that will be heating up cities in the future — urbanization hikes temperatures too. A new study led by a University of Guelph researcher looks at… whether it’s possible to design urban areas to mitigate the heating from both effects. For example, roofs could be built with reflective materials that bounce solar energy back into space. …And cities could plant more trees along streets to reduce the amount of heat stored by roads. They found that if those measures were applied consistently across entire cities while cutting greenhouse gas emissions to reduce climate change, daytime temperatures could be kept in check. …The only things that made a small difference to nighttime temperatures were green roofs, and switching from building materials like concrete, brick and asphalt to materials that don’t absorb heat well, such as wood.

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MIT expert: Carbon-neutral biomass ‘accounting fraud’

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
November 5, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

It takes more than 30 tractor-trailer loads of wood a day to feed Nova Scotia Power’s Port Hawkesbury biomass plant. But according to the province’s new cap-and-trade carbon-pricing plan, nothing comes out of the facility’s stacks. The plan classifies biomass as a carbon-neutral way to create electricity or heat. The province is taking its cue from federal government policy. …The problem is that a tremendous amount of greenhouse gases come out of a biomass plant. …“It’s an accounting fiction,” John Sterman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, said of the carbon neutrality of biomass. …According to Statistics Canada, exports of wood pellets for biomass from this country nearly doubled between 2012 and 2016, when 2.4 million tonnes were shipped primarily to the United Kingdom. …British Columbia was responsible for 65 per cent of our exports.

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Part of the Answer to Climate Change May Be America’s Trees and Dirt, Scientists Say

By Brad Plumer
New York Times
November 14, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — When people think of potential solutions to global warming, they tend to visualize technologies like solar panels or electric cars. A new study published on Wednesday, however, found that better management of forests, grasslands and soils in the United States could offset as much as 21 percent of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. At the high end of the projections, that would be roughly equivalent to taking every single car and truck in the country off the road. The paper, published in the journal Science Advances, identified a number of promising strategies, like replanting trees on degraded lands, changing logging practices to better protect existing forests and sequestering more carbon in farmland soils through new agricultural techniques.

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What climate change will do to the forests

By Ryan Cooper
The Week Magazine
November 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

At the beginning of October, California’s fire season was already threatening to be the worst on record. …The total from the first nine months of 2018 alone was considerably more than the 506,000 acres that had burned on state land in all of 2017, which was itself more than twice as much as burned in 2016. …One slim hope for the rest of the year was that fall rains might keep California’s trees and vegetation relatively moist. But the rains did not come. …Climate change will have two contradictory effects on forests, William Anderegg, a climate scientist at the University of Utah who specializes in tree biology, told The Week. On the one hand, some of its effects will stimulate forest growth. …But on the other hand, a warmer world would also harm forests because it means more drought, more fires, and more insect infestations.

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Energy Information Administration updates bioenergy production, capacity forecasts

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
November 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the November edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting that nonhydropower renewables will provided more than 10 percent of electricity generation in 2018, increasing to nearly 11 percent in 2019. According to the EIA, wood biomass is expected to be used to generate 115,000 MWh of electricity per day this year, increasing to 117,000 MWh per day next year. Production from waste biomass, however, is expected to drop slightly, from 59,000 MWh per day this year to 58,000 MWh per day next year. The electric power sector is expected to generate 87,000 MWh per day from biomass this year, including 50,000 MWh per day from waste and 38,000 MWh per day from wood. Next year, the sector is expected to produce 90,000 MWh per day of electricity from biomass, including 49,000 MWh per day from waste and 40,000 MWh per day from wood.

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The more things change, the more they remain the same!

By Jerry Yudelson
Reinventing Green Building Blog
November 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Tuesday’s US national elections changed little, except to put the brakes on further efforts by the Trump Administration to deal with climate change, such as by bailing out failing coal and nuclear plants. In many ways, it just replicated the 2010 election. …What does this mean for climate change politics? The House of Representatives will likely reconstitute a climate change special committee of some sort and that panel will start promoting federal action. More than likely, however, President Trump will be tempted to do what President Obama did… which is to rule by decree (aka “executive order”). …The failure of a carbon tax in the state of Washington by a fairly large margin (56-44 in WA) owing to massive contributions against it by oil companies says to me that carbon tax legislation will only happen at the national level.

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A new hope: GEDI to yield 3D forest carbon map

By NASA / Goddard Space Flight Centeer
EurekAlert
November 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

A new NASA laser instrument set to launch to the International Space Station in December will help scientists create the first three-dimensional map of the world’s temperate and tropical forests. The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation, or GEDI, is scheduled to launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. From the station, GEDI’s advanced laser technology will reveal the three-dimensional structure of forest ecosystems around the globe. …Measurements of the height of foliage, branches, trees and shrubs below its path will yield new insights into how forests are storing or releasing carbon. …GEDI is slated to begin its two-year science mission aboard the station by the end of 2018. …Led by the University of Maryland in collaboration with Goddard, GEDI has the highest resolution and densest sampling of any lidar every put in orbit.

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Trump admin promises to ‘encourage’ tree burning for energy

By Timothy Cama
The Hill
November 1, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Three federal agencies said Thursday that they’re working to embrace burning trees and other biomass to create energy in a “carbon-neutral” way. The heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy sent a letter to Congress outlining how they are carrying out a mandate from a law passed earlier this year to ensure that policies “reflect the carbon-neutrality of forest bioenergy and recognize biomass as a renewable energy source.” …The forestry industry has been pushing for years for federal policy to consider biomass burning a renewable energy source, which could give it some of the benefits that wind, solar and similar energy forms enjoy. Companies often use sawdust and other waste to fuel operations, or turn the waste into pellets and sell them to other companies. The American Forest and Paper Association cheered the Trump administration’s Thursday letter.

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Trump Embraces Tree-Fired Power That Scientists Call Worse Than Coal

By Jennifer Dlouhy
Bloomberg
November 1, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The Trump administration endorsed burning trees and other biomass to produce energy on Thursday, vowing to promote a practice some scientists have declared more environmentally devastating than coal-fired power. The Environmental Protection Agency joined the departments of Energy and Agriculture in a letter to congressional leaders committing to “encourage the use of biomass as an energy solution.” The EPA also reasserted its view that power plants burning trees and other woody materials to generate electricity should be viewed as carbon neutral, because when the plants eventually regrow they remove carbon dioxide from the air. The agencies also are committing to collaborate on policies promoting biomass, which could include Energy Department research and encouraging utilities to substitute wood for coal in power plants.

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Study: NW Forests Will Weather Climate Change Better Than Others In The West

By Jes Burns
Oregon Public Broadcasting
November 19, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Climate change is expected to increase drought and wildfire vulnerability in forests across the West. But new research out of Oregon State University shows that some places will fare better than others. The Douglas fir forests of western Oregon and Washington are among the least susceptible to drought and fire over the next thirty years. …Other forests types are in for a much more volatile future. This includes the forests east of Warm Springs, in north-central Oregon, which are expected to suffer drought. Wildfire vulnerability is high in the Klamath Siskiyou Mountains of southwest Oregon, as well as across the border from Hood River in Washington. Fire vulnerability is elevated in California’s Sierra Nevada, too. …Buotte says the research does not predict fire or drought severity — just whether or not a specific forest in a specific location will experience drought or fire.

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Study finds healthy group of polar bears in sea near Alaska

Associated Press in Vancouver Sun
November 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The first formal count of polar bears in waters between the United States and Russia indicates they’re doing better than some of their cousins elsewhere. Polar bears are listed as a threatened species because of diminished sea ice due to climate change. But university and federal researchers estimate a healthy and abundant population of nearly 3,000 animals in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. “In the near-term, it’s absolutely good news,” said lead author Eric Regehr, … University of Washington’s Polar Science Center. In the longer term, it doesn’t mean the Chukchi Sea bear population will not be affected. “Polar bears need ice to hunt seals, and the ice is projected to decline until the underlying problem of climate change is addressed,” Regehr said.

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Washington State Likely Rejects a Historic Carbon Tax

By Robinson Meyer
The Atlantic
November 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

If Democrats ever want to fight climate change at the national level, they’ll need help from state-level progressives first. Blue states will need to function as “laboratories of democracy,” trying out creative new climate policies and finding their faults before their debut on the national stage. On Tuesday, Democrats didn’t get that help. Though progressives cruised to victory in Washington State… voters appeared almost certain to reject Initiative 1631, a ballot question that would have established the nation’s first carbon tax. With 64 percent of the vote counted, 56 percent of voters opposed the measure—enough of a rout that The Seattle Times declared it defeated. …With 1631 defeated, California remains the only state in the country with an aggressive climate policy.

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I-1631 is rural Washington’s great green hope

By Frances Charles and Ron Allen
The Peninsula Daily News
October 31, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The fight to safeguard Washington state from serious impacts of climate change will not be won in Washington, D.C., or in Olympia, but in rural communities like Port Angeles, Sequim and Forks. That’s a foundational principle embodied in Initiative 1631, the ballot initiative co-authored and co-managed by Washington’s tribes. When passed, I-1631 will enact the largest-ever investment in our state’s lands and ecosystems in order to counter the negative impacts of climate change on Washington. …While some segments of the environmental community still view the forest products industry as an “enemy” given opposition to certain logging practices or even the concept of harvesting trees, it’s undeniable that managed tree farms that are harvested and replanted play a key role in both sequestering carbon and protecting forests from development, parasites, outbreaks and wildfire.

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Washington could be the first state to charge for carbon emissions that cause climate change

By Steven Mufson
The Washington Post
October 28, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

What’s happened is climate change. It has contributed to the dry conditions that fueled forest fires, blanketing Seattle with smoke this year. It has altered the acidity of the oceans, damaging oyster farms in Seattle’s Puget Sound. And now, climate change has made its way onto the Nov. 6 ballot, in the form of a statewide initiative that would impose a $15-a-ton fee on carbon emissions that cause global warming. If the measure is adopted, Washington would become the first state in the nation to tax carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas. …The battle has already set a new Washington state record for spending on a ballot issue. …Washington state tried a similar idea two years ago, combining a carbon tax with other tax cuts.

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Sampling guts of live moose to understand how they break down biomass

By Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory
Phys.org
October 25, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Microbes in the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants such as moose help break down recalcitrant plant biomass into carbon nutrients, but how do they do this over the course of seasons when the moose diet changes, and what microbes are involved? Now, an international research team has studied microbial communities in the rumen of live moose and gained a more holistic view of a complex microbial food web that is responsible for carbon processing in that ecosystem. …Microbes breaking down biomass play a vital role in a surprising number of processes, including which chemicals are released into the air and whether a useful biofuel or bioproduct can be formed. By understanding how microbes process woody material like twigs and bark in the guts of moose, scientists can better predict how changes in the seasonal diet of these animals affects their ability to break down these woody materials. They can then extend this understanding to help biofuel, bioproduct, and chemical processing in industry.

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Fighting Climate Change Could Make New Hampshire Forests More Profitable

By Annie Ropeik
New Hampshire Public Radio
November 19, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

New research suggests New Hampshire forests could help store more climate-warming carbon dioxide while growing higher-value trees. The study, from Clark University and the Nature Conservancy, says better land management – especially reforestation – could store up to a fifth of America’s climate-warming carbon emissions.  The U.S. emitted about 5.8 billion tons of carbon in 2016. That carbon builds up in the atmosphere and leads to slow but steady warming that drives sea level rise, more extreme weather and other harmful effects of climate change. But trees can also store that carbon, preventing it from concentrating in the atmosphere. UNH forestry professor John Gunn says for New Hampshire’s forests to contribute more, landowners will need incentives to grow longer-lived, higher-quality trees.

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Film explores impact of burning wood for energy

Addison County Independent
November 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

MIDDLEBURY — A screening of the film “Burned: Are Trees the New Coal?” will take place on Nov. 13… According to the website (burnedthemovie.com), “‘BURNED’ takes a hard look at the latest false solution to humanity’s vast energy appetite: woody biomass. The film tells the story of how woody biomass has become the alternative energy savior for the power generation industry and of the people and parties who are both promoting and fighting its adoption and use. Using interviews with experts, activists and citizens, along with verité-style footage shot across the U.S., E.U. and U.K., the film interweaves the science of climate change, the escalating energy policy disputes, the dynamics of forest ecology, the industry practices, and the actions of activists and citizens who are working to protect their own health, their communities, the forest, and the planet’s climate.

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Attis Industries Launches Video Series to Demonstrate Bio-Based Technologies and Discuss Targeted End Use Products

By Attis Industries, Inc.
Global Newswire
November 5, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Jeff Cosman

MILTON, GA  — Attis Industries, Inc., a diversified company focused on innovation and technology throughout key components of the new economy, which include renewable fuels, bio-based plastics, healthcare and communications infrastructure, today launched a video series that will offer investors and interested parties additional information on the technologies and bio-based products offered under the Innovations division. In the video, Attis Chief Executive Officer Jeff Cosman and members of the Innovations team discuss the current inefficiencies in biomass processing and how the Company is taking the next steps to double the biofuel output from biomass. …Attis plans to convert its lignin into transportation fuels such as gasoline, diesel and/or jet fuel, which could double the fuel output of biomass, or to convert the lignin into various materials such as plastics, adhesives or carbon fiber.

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New study stokes the debate over oil heat versus wood

Mainebiz
October 24, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A report by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry claims more than 100 major buildings in Maine have made the conversion to heating with wood instead of oil. In most cases, the report says, wood chip or wood pellet systems replaced those using heating oil. The installations have been on college campuses, schools and institutions. Part of the debate centers around the fact that most of the wood pellets and wood chips are produced in Maine, while heating oil comes from outside the market. As a result, direct spending on “local” fuels, wood pellets and wood chips, totals $6.3 million a year. The study claims the annual savings amounts to $5.5 million. The total economic impact from buying the wood products is $20.6 million, according to the report. …The fuels are nearly entirely produced within Maine, “supporting hundreds of jobs,” the study claims.

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Over 120 groups from around the world declare large scale forest biomass energy a dangerous ‘delusion’

By the Dogwood Alliance
WENY News
October 24, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Asheville — A loud chorus of civil society organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people around the world has come together to release a new statement expressing concern over the use of forest biomass for renewable energy. Dogwood Alliance has joined these groups concerned that biomass is a societal delusion for climate change mitigation and who have increased their commitment to working collectively for real solutions that protect and restore forests. …We call on governments, financiers, companies and civil society to avoid expansion of the forest biomass based energy industry and move away from its use. Subsidies for forest biomass energy must be eliminated. Protecting and restoring the world’s forests is a climate change solution, burning them is not.” One hundred twenty-three organizations from over thirty countries have published this joint statement.

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Policy needed to boost NZ’s wood fuel use

By Gavin Evans
New Zealand Herald
November 21, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Wood fuel could dramatically reduce New Zealand’s industrial emissions within five years, but not without a policy framework that actively encourages it, Azwood Energy general manager Brook Brewerton says. The country has abundant wood residues sitting in its hills which can be transformed into energy, he says. Some firms are starting to look at it as an alternative to coal, but many lack the capital to make the change. Without that demand that fuel will remain in the hills, he said. The quickest way to drive that would be for the government to provide accelerated depreciation on renewable heat plant, or low-interest Crown loans for them. “It’s just waste and we can use it but we need to create the demand,” he told BusinessDesk.

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Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe.

By Abrahm Lustgarten
The New York Times
November 20, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A decade ago, the U.S. mandated the use of vegetable oil in biofuels, leading to industrial-scale deforestation — and a huge spike in carbon emissions. …The tropical rain forests of Indonesia, and in particular the peatland regions of Borneo, have large amounts of carbon trapped within their trees and soil. Slashing and burning the existing forests to make way for oil-palm cultivation had a perverse effect: It released more carbon. A lot more carbon. NASA researchers say the accelerated destruction of Borneo’s forests contributed to the largest single-year global increase in carbon emissions in two millenniums, an explosion that transformed Indonesia into the world’s fourth-largest source of such emissions. Instead of creating a clever technocratic fix to reduce American’s carbon footprint, lawmakers had lit the fuse on a powerful carbon bomb that, as the forests were cleared and burned, produced more carbon than the entire continent of Europe.

 

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Why burning trees to make electricity may not be a good choice for the environment

By Wiriya Sati
ABC News, Australia
November 19, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

While the Federal Government is under pressure to reduce carbon emissions to tackle climate change, NSW industry groups have been invited to further consider burning forest timber for electricity, also known as biomass. Biomass has been declared a carbon-neutral renewable energy by the Environmental Protection Authority, but scientists and conservationists disagree on its worth. There is a groundswell of opposition internationally to biomass, with opponents arguing it is a falsehood based on flawed accounting. …National Parks Australia senior ecologist Oisin Sweeney is concerned that biomass could become the driver of the logging industry. “Biomass becomes the tail that wags the dog,” he said. …”The best way for forests to help us deal with climate change is to leave them to get older. The older they get the more carbon they store.”

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Tree planting in UK ‘must double to tackle climate change’

By Damian Carrington
The Guardian
November 15, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Tree planting must double by 2020 as part of radical changes to land use in the UK, according to the government’s advisers on climate change. New forests would lock up carbon but also help to limit the more frequent floods expected with global warming. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said land currently used to produce food would need to be converted to woodland, growing crops to produce energy and for new homes to accommodate the growing population. Up to 17% of cropland and 30% of grassland could be converted, the report says. Protecting and restoring peatland, a huge store of carbon, is also vital, as is ensuring no food waste went to landfill by 2025, but is instead used to generate energy, it adds.

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Scientists Highlight Forests’ Critical Role in Climate Mitigation

By Catherine Benson Wahlen
The International Institute for Sustainable Development
November 13, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Climate and Land Use Alliance released a statement from 40 scientists that argues that the preservation, restoration and sustainable management of forests is critical for limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. In response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (SR15), the scientists highlight five reasons. …First, the scientists emphasize that the world’s forests “contain more carbon than exploitable oil, gas and coal deposits” and that “avoiding forest carbon emissions is just as urgent as halting fossil fuel use.” Second, the scientists highlight the role of forests in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. …Third, the scientists explain that achieving the world’s 1.5°C goal will require “massive” forest restoration to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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Can this carbon capture technology save us from climate change?

By Mark Tutton
CNN London
November 9, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

LONDON — It’s a stark prognosis: To save the world from the worst effects of climate change… we need to start scrubbing carbon pollution from the atmosphere, too. …The problem is, the jury is still out on whether that’s even possible. …But one method that’s got a lot of attention from IPCC scientists is known as Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, or BECCS. Essentially, it means growing bioenergy crops and then burning them at power stations to create energy, while capturing the CO2 that’s emitted. …Of course, it’s not quite that simple. Growing, collecting, transporting and processing the crops will have a carbon footprint, but advocates believe that if the process is well managed, BECCS can be an important tool in removing atmospheric CO2. Along with tree planting, BECCS is the CO2 removal method most used by the IPCC in its scenarios for limiting global warming.

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Long-lived wood products are significant carbon capturers

By Pranjal Mehar
The Tech Explorist
November 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A new study by the University of Eastern Finland has suggested that the way we use wood mitigate climate change. …Up until this point, numerous examinations have concentrated on carbon put away in Forest, yet fewer investigations have concentrated on the job of wood items. …The examination followed the streams of wood in Lithuania and the Czech Republic beginning from the forest through the wood handling industry until the point when the end products, with an accentuation on carbon conventional and atmosphere moderation impacts. The outcomes demonstrate that traditional carbon bookkeeping strategies for reap wood items may prompt a huge underestimation of the carbon put away in wood items. The examination discovered that in a few nations, the yearly carbon spending plan in wood items is 40% higher when ascertained with a more definite technique.

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Amazon forests failing to keep up with climate change

By the University of Leeds
Phys.org
November 8, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A team of more than 100 scientists has assessed the impact of global warming on thousands of tree species across the Amazon to discover the winners and losers from 30 years of climate change. Their analysis found the effects of climate change are altering the rainforest’s composition of tree species but not quickly enough to keep up with the changing environment. The team… used long-term records from more than a hundred plots as part of the Amazon Forest Inventory Network to track the lives of individual trees across the Amazon region. Their results found that since the 1980s, the effects of global environmental change—stronger droughts, increased temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—has slowly impacted specific tree species’ growth and mortality. 

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‘Negativity around forestry needs to stop if we want to reach climate targets’- Department

By Claire Fox
Farm Ireland
November 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Negative commentary on forestry needs to come to an end if we want to reach climate targets, Secretary General at the Department of Agriculture Brendan Gleeson has said. Mr Gleeson told members of the Oireachtais Committee on Climate Action today that planting of forests will play a significant part in reducing emissions and reaching 2030 climate targets. He said that the negative debate around forestry has to come to an end in order to promote the planting of trees and encourage carbon sequestration. “Forestry is a critical part of this discussion. We need to be planting trees now to provide mitigation for the 2030 onward period. I’m concerned around about the negative narrative around forestry that it might make it more difficult to reach targets, it’s important to encourage planting of trees,” he said.

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Now, pine needles to be used as fuel, thanks to IIT-Mandi

By Dipender Manta
The Tribune
November 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

IIT-Mandi is planning to make eco-friendly use of pine needle for social benefits. The pine needles are non-biodegradable and highly inflammable in nature. The IIT- Mandi has developed a technique for eco-friendly utilisation of these needles which is a low-cost procedure. Doctor Arti Kashyap, Principal Project Investigator, Centre for Uplifting Himalayan Livelihood at IIT-Mandi, said due to non-bio-degradable and highly-inflammable nature, pine needles pose a major threat to the environment, forest biodiversity and local economy in the entire Himalayan region. She said the Centre for Innovative Technology for the Himalayan Region at IIT-Mandi is working to save forests from forest fire caused by dry pine needles for the last three years. Now it has successfully prepared briquettes and pellets from pure pine needles mixing these with other biomasses.

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Reducing US coal emissions through biomass and carbon capture would boost employment

By Cell Press
EurekAlert!
November 1, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

AUSTRIA — While the need for solutions for the impending consequences of rising global temperatures has become increasingly urgent, many people have expressed concerns about the loss of jobs as current technologies like coal-fired power plants are phased out. A new study appearing November 1 in the journal Joule has run the numbers associated with the impacts of cutting coal plant jobs while at the same time employing techniques for bioenergy coupled with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). The model indicates that the BECCS approach would not only retain 40,000 jobs currently held as part of the coal industry but would create 22,000 new jobs in the forestry and transportation sectors by the middle of this century.

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Climate change looms over future of Finnish forestry industry

Svenska Yle News
October 31, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Forestry is a big industry in Finland and its seedling farms play a major role in keeping the sector alive because the small plants are the replacements for millions of trees felled every year. Dagsmark is home to one of Finland’s biggest tree seedling farms, Mellanå Plant. …But the busy farm has had to deal with unusual turns in the weather, particularly this year’s extremely dry summer. …The region’s recent milder – and nearly-snowless – winters also cause problems because the trees’ root systems are very sensitive to cold temperatures. …Climate change affects the forest and the forestry industry in many ways. It causes a lengthening of growth seasons but also causes a long list of major problems like forest fires, severe storms, heavy snow that tears apart trees and damaging insect infestations.

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Making forests the focus of global bioeconomies

Landscape News
October 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

On 11 October, the European Commission launched a new strategy to create a comprehensive bioeconomy – a ‘biosociety’ – and ultimately a carbon-neutral future. The strategy centers on waste reduction, ecosystem protection and a 100-million-euro fund to incentivize private investment in the continental bioeconomy, particularly in later phases when finance is needed to help commercialize bioeconomy products: everything from makeup and dietary supplements to bioplastics and cleaning supplies, as long as they are biomass-based. …As national and international bioeconomies grow and compete, how will forests be of use – and be protected – in the process? …Yet, a bioeconomy is not synonymous with a sustainable economy, and these go-green schemes need to detail science-based ways optimize land and resource use; recycle more from waste-intensive products such as sugarcane and swine; and substitute inefficient use of wood and charcoal biofuels with other forms of renewable energy. 

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Logging for Biomass Energy Blasted by 120 Civil Society and Scientific Organizations from 30 Countries

By Derek Lee
Wild Nature Institute
October 25, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A large international group of civil society and scientific organisations representing hundreds of thousands of people around the world has released a statement expressing concern over the use of forest biomass for energy. The groups say that biomass energy from forests is a societal delusion that makes climate change worse. The collective has increased their commitment to working for real climate solutions that protect and restore forests. The statement says, “We, the undersigned organisations believe that we must move beyond burning forest biomass to effectively address climate change. We call on governments, financiers, companies and civil society to avoid expansion of the forest biomass based energy industry and move away from its use. Subsidies for forest biomass energy must be eliminated. Protecting and restoring the world’s forests is a climate change solution, burning them is not.”

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