On World Wetlands Day, February 2nd, the Dutch government voted in favor of forest protection over forest destruction.
The Netherlands overwhelmingly adopted a resolution to halt dirty biomass subsidies for burning forests in coal-fired power plants.
This is great news for our Southern forests and a strong signal that we are winning!
The freeze on biomass funding will be in effect until political clarity is reached for a complete coal phaseout in the Netherlands – which will last late into 2016 at the earliest. As this increasingly controversial industry has become more and more heavily dependent on government funding, this very well might signal an end for biomass co-firing in one of Europe’s top importers of wood pellets from Southern Forests.
Combined with the ongoing investigation of subsidies provided to Drax in the UK and a powerful economic analysis published in Belgium, the world’s biggest drivers of the destructive wood pellet export market are notably backpedaling. This is something our government officials and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should take notice of.
Looks like our SOS has finally come ashore!
In partnership with international and national organizations, Dogwood Alliance has played a big part in making this resolution possible. In addition to our coalition sending over 100,000 SOS messages to Europe in less than one year, we helped bring the voices and stories of impacted North Carolina community members to meet directly with Dutch officials.
Furthermore, just before the resolution passed, Dogwood Alliance along with our partners at NRDC and the Southern Environmental Law Center sent a letter to the Dutch government urging this resolution be passed. We must also give a huge thanks to Greenpeace Netherlands for their leadership on this issue and tireless work to end coal and biomass in their home country.
This was a very fitting victory on World Wetlands Day and a clear indication that big biomass is a bad investment.