Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 22, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Merry Christmas to all from the Tree Frog News!

Tree Frog Forestry News
December 22, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Forestry. Business. Carbon & Climate. Wood & Paper Products. Yes – the Tree Frog News is FULL OF IT. And if you’re a regular reader of the Frog, you know that we exist because of the generosity of our sponsors. Please click here to see who we’re talking about and join us in thanking them!

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Thank you for a fabulous 2017 and we look forward to seeing you in 2018.

— Kelly, Sandy and Heidi, Tree Frog Editors

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Special Feature

2017: The year wood construction grew like a weed

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
December 22, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Looking back on 2017 it is hard to know where to start, there was so much happening. It’s the year that wood construction really went mainstream, everywhere. We are not even going to discuss the fantasy projects, just the real stuff being built by real architects. Because we are past gawking at models and renderings, things are getting built! …It really was a remarkable year, with the world’s tallest timber tower, Brock Commons Tallwood House, opening for business. No doubt it will be overtaken very soon, as architects and wood engineers keep pushing the envelope. If I can make some predictions for the coming year:

  • Dowel-Laminated Timber (DLT) and Nail Laminated Timber (NLT) will be used more and more instead of CLT because of cost and competitive pressures.
  • The race to be the tallest building will run out of gas, and wood will mostly be used for medium height buildings, say up to 15 floors, the “missing middle” kind of buildings.
  • We will see a lot more of the European-style high quality wood frame construction in low-rise buildings.

But we will also see a lot more wood.

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Business & Politics

Lumber Prices in the Final Week Before Traditional Forestry Holiday Break

By Keta Kosman, Publisher, Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Market Watch – Forest2Market
December 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

…expect the lumber business to come back [after Christmas] with a bang at the beginning of 2018—just as it was in 2017. On December 7, the US International Trade Commission released a pre-announcement of its looming Final Determination on Canadian imports of manufactured softwood lumber products to the US. …these duties will take effect at the beginning of 2018, even though some small adjustments were made to individual company duty rates. …A significant correction on benchmark WSPF dimension prices in recent weeks moderated the wild ride construction framing softwood lumber prices have taken since the beginning of 2017. In the east, ESPF 2×6 also had a big adjustment. Expectations are that most wood commodity prices will remain generally level until more volatility hits the market right at the beginning of 2018. Anecdotal comments from suppliers indicate the duties have already been absorbed into prices and the US International Trade Commission’s announcement has had no impact on price levels.

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Looking Back at 2017

By Don Kayne
Canfor
December 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With 2018 nearing, I’d like to take the time to reflect on some key highlights from 2017 that were featured on our blog. A number of blogs demonstrated our ongoing commitment to innovation. Canfor supplied the specialty lumber used for the Brock Commons student residence in Vancouver, which was the tallest mass timber building in the world when it opened in July. …We were recognized once again as one of BC’s Top Employers for the fifth year in a row  …This year, we also announced some major capital investments to support our growth in the US South including $8.8 million at the Urbana mill in Arkansas and $28 million at the Moultrie sawmillin Georgia. Both will increase production capacity and operating efficiencies – and lead to new jobs. It has been a busy and productive year, and I look forward to the opportunities before us in 2018.

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Resolute Forest Products Reports Acquisition of Full Ownership of Donohue Malbaie for C$20M

Street Insider
December 21, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products Inc. today announced the closing of a transaction to acquire the 49 percent equity interest held by The New York Times Company in Donohue Malbaie Inc. for a cash purchase price in the amount of C$20 million. Resolute already owned 51 percent of the shares of Donohue Malbaie. Donohue Malbaie owns and operates a paper machine with an annual production capacity of 224,000 metric tons of newsprint in Clermont (Quebec). …With this transaction, Resolute becomes sole owner of the Clermont operation. …Jim Follo, executive vice president and chief financial officer of The New York Times Company, said: “We’ve relied on the high-quality product produced in the Clermont mill to print The New York Times each day, and we’re grateful to the team there. Resolute will remain our primary supplier of newsprint, and we look forward to a continuing relationship.”

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Northern Pulp committed to sustaining Nova Scotia’s valued forestlands

Northern Pulp
The New Glasgow News
December 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

On a clear fall day, it is easy to see the beauty of Nova Scotia’s abundant forests. Every year, astounding colours blanket the many hills and valleys that make up this beautiful province. While the forestry industry has come under scrutiny from environmental groups and some members of the general public, in Nova Scotia, there is actually more forested land today than there was 100 years ago. This is primarily due to a decrease in the amount of land used for agricultural purposes and prevention of forest fires, which used to burn out of control across the province. In fact, 75 per cent of Nova Scotia is forests — more than four million hectares — making it the second most densely forested province in the country.

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Marketing board to appeal decision in Irving case

By Connell Smith
CBC News
December 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The chair of a Sussex-based woodlot marketing board says his group will appeal this month’s decision by the province’s Forest Products Commission. The commission agreed with J.D. Irving and other industry players who argued the SNB Forest Products Marketing Board overstepped its authority when it issued an order saying all logs from private woodlots had to be sold to the board and bought from the board. The order was an attempt by SNB to regain control over how wood is bought and sold in the marketing board’s territory.  “Our legal team are working on whatever is necessary to file that appeal,” marketing board chair, William Richardson said. “Basically we don’t agree with the legal basis of the decision from the forest products commission. There are inconsistencies there.”

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Global sawlog prices were higher throughout the world in the 3Q/17

Wood Resources Quarterly
American Journal of Transportation
December 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Seattle, USA — Sawlog prices were up in most regions of the world in the 3Q/17. The price increases from the 2Q/17 were generally smaller in local currencies than in US dollar terms because of the weakening US dollar. In US dollar terms, quarter-to-quarter prices were up the most in Europe (+7.9%) and Oceania (+6.1%), while the upward price adjustments were more modest in North America (+2.8%) and Latin America (+2.2%). The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) has gone up for three consecutive quarters to reach $75.69/m3 in the 3Q/17. …With the outlook for continued strong demand for lumber in key markets and higher consumption of sawlogs, it is likely that the price index will continue upward in the coming quarters.

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Klausner seeks to meet April opening

By Khai Hoang
The Daily Herald
December 20, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Halifax, North Carolina — Klausner Lumber Two informed the Halifax County Board of Commissioners the mill will open about April, after some delays, and on Tuesday, several Commissioners toured the site. …Once the site becomes fully operational, Mende said during Tuesday’s tour the site should employ about 350 people. Mende said he believes the company is one of the bigger mills in the South already, but not where it would like to be.About 35 percent of the product ships international, to countries and regions such as India, China, Central America, the Caribbean and South America, and the remaining 65 percent stays in the U.S., Mende said. He said the company provides product from Texas to Indiana to New York.

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NZ Export Log Prices Hit New Record

Scoop Independent News
December 22, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand export log prices edged higher to a new record, buoyed by continued strong demand from China, a weaker currency and historically low shipping rates. The price for A-Grade export logs reached $129 a tonne, up from $128 a tonne last month, and $127 a tonne the month earlier, marking the highest level since AgriHQ began collecting the data in 2008, according to the agricultural market specialist’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. All of the main log grades tracked by AgriHQ either held steady or lifted as much as $2 a tonne on the previous month, AgriHQ said. …”Strong and constant demand out of China is the main factor which has pulled wharfgate log prices to record levels,” said AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Taller mass timber buildings are on the rise – infographic

American Institute of Architects
December 22, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Climate change. Housing shortages. Urban densification. In today’s changing building environment, a growing body of leading architects, scientists, and engineers are choosing wood as the building material of the future. Explore mass timber with this AIA interactive infographic.

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Forestry

Climate change a major issue for forestry planning heading into 2018

By Mia Rabson
National Post
December 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — Canada loses 20 times more forested land to fires and invasive bugs each year than it does to harvesting wood for industry — and Canada’s lumber association says climate change is making it worse. Derek Nighbor, president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, says he believes developing plans to address the impacts a warming planet is having on Canada’s forests needs to be a priority. “We … (have) got to be looking forward and doing some modelling in terms of the warming climate and how do we stay ahead of this so we can ensure healthy forests for the future,” he told The Canadian Press. …Nighbor said the industry’s scientists and experts are constantly assessing the situation on the ground and some options could include planting more pest-resistant trees in the future. However, Dan Kraus, national conservation biologist at the Nature Conservancy of Canada, said introducing new species of trees is a dangerous prospect.

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BC Forest Practices Board Submission to Professional Reliance Review

BC Forest Practices Board
December 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Forest Practices Board made a submission to the government’s review of the professional reliance model in British Columbia. The submission is based on the Board’s experience in auditing and investigating forest and range practices throughout the province and reviewing the role of professionals in the course of that work. …However, as the Board has previously noted, there are gaps in the regulatory framework that need to be filled in order to ensure that professional reliance is achieving its full potential and that the public has confidence in government resource management decisions. The Board’s recommendations in this submission focus on correcting these deficiencies. These recommendations address the mandate of the Professional Reliance Review concerning “conditions governing the involvement of qualified professionals in government’s resource management decisions.”

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Feds seek public input for review of professional reliance model

By Melanie Green
The Squamish Chief
December 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Buchanan

The federal government is seeking public input for a review of the province’s professional reliance model, which sees private companies hire professionals, such as scientists and engineers, to conduct studies. The provincial government uses the studies to approve or deny major projects that come before officials at the Environmental Assessment Office.  … Christine Gelowitz, a registered professional forester and the Association of BC Forest Professionals CEO said she welcomed the opportunity to strengthen the results-based professional reliance model.  “Effective oversight and monitoring of B.C.’s vast forests and natural resources is important to the people of B.C.,” Gelowitz said.  Squamish conservationist John Buchanan plans to submit years-worth of data for the review. “Right now we have a problem with the assessment procedure in B.C. and that’s clear,” Buchanan said. 

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Elphinstone Logging Focus headed to court to halt EW28 logging

By Sean Eckford
Coast Reporter
December 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) said it’s taking legal action against the province and the Sunshine Coast Community Forest in an effort to stop the logging of the Wilson Creek area cutblock EW28, also known as the Chanterelle Forest. The group has long opposed harvesting in that area, and plans to argue in court that the cutting permit was issued “unreasonably and without procedural fairness.” …Community Forest officials appeared recently at a Sechelt council committee meeting to outline the various approval steps needed for the EW28 permit as well as permits for two other blocks they recently put out to tender. Those steps included approval from the shíshálh Nation. … ELF contends the Community Forest “has increasingly made decisions regarding the planning and management of specific cutblocks ‘in the dark,’ without public consultation.”

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Old Massett launches blockade against logging close to New Town

By Andrew Hudson
Haida Gwaii Observer
December 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fallers heading to work on a cutblock near New Town yesterday morning found the Old Massett flag and dozens of residents at the gate. The night before, newly elected Chief Councillor Duffy Edgars went door to door through the village to gather support from chiefs and elders and rally people for a blockade. …“I think this is a first for Old Massett — it’s in our own backyard,” Edgars said, noting it’s the first time Old Massett council has opposed such a logging plan. …One of the planned cutblocks is east of New Town, Tlaga Gawtlaas, and Old Massett councillors are concerned that logging it will exacerbate the risk of flooding in the neighbourhood, which already had flooded streets last winter. However, BCTS contracted a hydrologist who found that logging the cutblock wouldn’t pose any significant risk.

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More trees believed to be infested by emerald ash borer beetle: city forester

CTV News
December 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Martha Barwinsky

The city’s forester said while it’s too soon to tell for certain, it’s believed the emerald ash borer beetle has infested a couple of other trees in addition to one positively identified in St. Boniface, and a more detailed search is coming. The city confirmed the highly destructive beetle had made its way into Winnipeg earlier this month. City forester Martha Barwinsky said the city has been working with biologists from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Manitoba Sustainable Development’s Forestry Branch to survey trees from the ground and by vehicle. She said about 30 people took part in the survey, which served as a training exercise for staff.

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Taxpayers want beetle infected trees logged

By Max Winkelman
BC Local News
December 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A petition with around 200 signatures of concerned taxpayers so far is asking for a preventative emergency measure forest maintenance program to deal with fir beetle infected trees in the South Canim Lake area. The area was affected by wildfires over the summer. The letter/petition states there are over 200 infected trees in a one-hectare area, according to an assessment by Canim Lake First Nations forester John Kalmokoff.  Irene McKerlich is organizing the petition and lives in south Canim Lake. She says she volunteered to write the letter after a meeting local residents had. “It’s our area, we had a fire two kilometres from us. Yeah, we’re concerned. If you look at the mountains and see all the red trees it’s kinda like, you just need a lightning strike right and poof it goes again.” 

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Christmas trees and Crown land: Regulations might leave you pining

By Justin Giovannetti
Globe and Mail
December 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

…heading out onto publicly owned land … in search of the perfect Christmas tree is an annual tradition for many Canadian families, but across vast swaths of this country, provincial governments have embraced the ritual with some reluctance or banned it completely. Western Canadian provinces allow locals to cut down a fragrant evergreen from Crown land to fill their living rooms with festive cheer during the Christmas season. The situation in Ontario is more complicated. Ontarians …must travel north of the French and Mattawa rivers, both of which are near Sudbury and North Bay. That is about a four hour drive each way from the Greater Toronto Area. The provincial government does not allow the cutting of firs, spruces or pines for personal use in the southern half of the province due to the “large amount of privately owned land” and the dearth of surplus crown land with conifers.

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Zinke halts Cascades grizzly bear recovery — British Columbia protects its bears

By Joel Connelly
Seattle Post Intelligencer
December 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The grizzly bear, “ursus horribilis,” is receiving radically different treatment these days on either side of the U.S.-Canada border. U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has ordered a halt to grizzly bear recovery in the North Cascades Ecosystem, where grizzlies are rarely seen and considered America’s most endangered population. Almost simultaneously, the BC government announced a total ban on hunting grizzlies in the province, to take effect immediately. Grizzly hunting is “no longer socially acceptable” to the province’s population, said B.C. forests minister Doug Donaldson. …Secretary Zinke is a champion and promoter of sport hunting, which in part tipped a selection influenced by Donald Trump, Jr. Earlier this year he announced an end to Endangered Species Act protection of grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, citing recovery in the 40 years since the bears were listed.

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Cal Poly Assistant Professor Takes on Vexing Global Problem of Dying Forests

By AnnMarie Cornejo
California Polytechnic State University
December 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Richard Cobb

SAN LUIS OBISPO — An increasing body of peer reviewed science shows that forests worldwide are dying at an accelerated pace from prolonged exposure to drought and heat — along with other factors such as land use and wildfire — creating a global challenge. Cal Poly Assistant Professor Richard Cobb, whose research is focused on forest health, recently published findings from an international research study that he hopes will help address the issues resulting from future forest die-offs and lead to better forest management. …Cobb said the overarching goal of the study was to develop a new set of research questions and monitoring goals in an adaptive management framework known as a “State and Transition Modeling.” …The research paper, “Ecosystem Dynamics and Management After Forest Die-Off: A Global Synthesis with Conceptual State-and-Transition Models,” was published in the journal Ecosphere

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Cal Fire announces availability for forest health, urban forestry and fire prevention grants

Lake Country News
December 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is pleased to announce information regarding the 2017-2018 California Climate Investments, or CCI, grant funds. Cal Fire is administering CCI grant funds to partners through grant awards that will help the State reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon. Up to $200 million is available through Cal Fire’s Forest Health grants (including conservation easements through the California Forest Legacy Program) and Fire Prevention grants. Up to $20 million in grant funds is available through Cal Fire’s Urban and Community Forestry program. …The grants are part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment.

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Forest Crews in Mississippi Implement Aggressive Restoration Strategy for Beetle Epidemic

US Department of Agriculture
December 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Forest restoration crews in Mississippi are directing a full-frontal assault at eliminating the southern pine beetle that is threatening to destroy tens of thousands of acres of pine stands… Forest health officials have classified the level of infestation as a severe outbreak. “This outbreak is unprecedented in scope with beetle activity progressing at breakneck speed with infestations rapidly escalating in size, coalescing and decimating whole plantations,” said Jim Meeker, an entomologist with the Forest Service. …To manage an outbreak, foresters generally use one of two suppression methods of either cut and remove or cut and leave. …Given the rate of infestation, the Forest Service estimates a potential loss of as much as 25,000 acres of pine stands in Mississippi.

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Environmental groups criticize Liberia’s new logging law

By Jonathan Paye-Layleh
Associated Press in the National Post
December 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MONROVIA, Liberia — Two global environmental watchdogs have condemned a new law in Liberia that they say rewards logging companies at the expense of one of the world’s poorest nations, and they called on donors to halt support until the law is overturned. “The Liberian government has secretly given the country’s loggers a $13 million tax break,” Global Witness and Tropenbos International said in a new report this week, adding that the law “has undone 15 years of reform” in the lucrative timber sector. Liberia’s timber industry was in the international spotlight in the early 2000s when its products were said to be used to fuel conflict. Sanctions were placed on the West African nation until a post-war government took office in 2006. 

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Failing our forests: we’ve lost enough trees to cover Spain in 2 years

By Jeremy Hance
The Guardian
December 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Two years ago the world signed the Paris Agreement to combat climate change. It included specific pledges to “conserve and enhance” the world’s forests in order to combat rising temperatures. But in the last two years – 2015 and 2016 – we’ve lost enough trees to cover 493,716 square kilometres, according to satellite data recently released by Global Forest Watch (GFW). This is nearly equal to the entirety of Spain – or about four Englands.  Currently, deforestation accounts for around 10-15% of annual global carbon emissions. Even as combating deforestation has long been seen as one of the cheapest ways to tackle global warming, GFW’s data shows just how far we have to go.  “Forests are fundamentally hard to protect – they are in remote frontiers or in countries with weak governance,” said Liz Goldman, a Research Associate at GFW.

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The Price of Forest Degradation and Biodiversity Loss for Livelihoods

By Fabiola Ortiz
In Depth News
December 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BONN – Forest degradation and biodiversity loss carry a very heavy price for climate and people’s livelihoods. Restoring forests matters when it comes to growing resilience to climate variation and securing a healthy environment for future generations. This was the main message delivered by experts and community leaders who met in Bonn to discuss a more sustainable path to conservation. “We should stop seeing indigenous peoples, natural resources and forests as a problem. We could see them as a solution,” said Robert Nasi, director general of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) which hosted the Global Landscapes Forum. …Erik Solheim, executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), suggested that one-third of what global society can do for the climate can be achieved through landscapes policies by protecting biodiversity.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biomass warms up

By Glynis Hart
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise
December 22, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

SARANAC LAKE — Can biomass electricity generation save the Adirondacks? Kate Fish, executive director of the Adirondack North Country Association, thinks it’s an important piece of the economic puzzle. In keeping with ANCA’s mission of promoting economic development that preserves the environment, she’d like to see more biomass electricity generation. “The technology has made leaps and bounds in the last 15 years,” said Fish. Noting that the region is a net exporter of energy, Fish envisions a future of energy independence for the Adirondacks. “From an electricity point of view, the North Country produces 63 percent of the renewable energy for the rest of the state. That’s mostly hydro and wind, but also a little biomass.

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Bring back our trees: the forest communities fighting climate change

By Fred Pearce
Thomson Reuters Foundation
December 21, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Around the world local people are restoring forests, boosting their incomes and sucking carbon from the atmosphere. …Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) author Joeri Rogelj has calculated that to achieve the Paris Agreement’s aim of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, total future emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) will probably need to be limited to less than 300 billion tonnes. Bringing CO2 emissions to net zero by the middle of this century would fall far short of that target; it would allow total emissions of around 800 billion tonnes. So we will need to suck CO2 back out of the air. On Rogelj’s estimates, those so-called “negative emissions” would have to amount to between 450 billion and 1,000 billion tonnes.

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The Great Biomass Swindle?

By Gerald Reid
Energy and Carbon Blog
December 22, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The general held view is that the use of biomass, and particularly wood, for energy purposes is carbon neutral. …Some studies… suggest using wood biomass for energy purposes could actually release higher levels of emissions than either burning both coal or gas! So what are the issues and why are they only coming to light now? …Thankfully, the European Union is slowly beginning to wake up these issues and is talking about a “carbon payback” rule to ensure that only energy that delivers CO2 benefits within defined timescales should be considered renewable.  If this becomes parts of the new Renewable Energy Directive in the EU, it seems highly unlikely that we will be cutting down trees in North America and transporting them to Europe to burn them to generate electricity.

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