To be a champion for communities and the climate, a leader must stand up and make tough decisions when it really matters. For too many years, Enviva has been allowed to expand unchecked in North Carolina, with three existing wood pellet facilities and one on the way.
We’re counting on Governor Cooper to understand the gravity of these issues. We urge the Governor to develop a comprehensive climate strategy that includes clean energy and protection for North Carolina’s forests.
Specifically, we call on Governor Cooper to:
1. Initiate a North Carolina study to assess the cumulative impact of the industrial-scale wood pellet industry on forests, the climate, and communities. Until this study is completed, we call for:
- No new industrial-scale wood pellet facilities.
- A cap on expansion of existing wood pellet facilities.
- Full compliance of existing facilities with with state and federal air quality standards.
- No new taxpayer dollars to subsidize industrial-scale bioenergy.
2. Establish a commission on climate action that includes a focus on forests and resiliency.
- Ensure that frontline communities and environmental advocacy groups have a seat at the table.
- Use resilience mapping to identify and prioritize conservation and economic development projects in our state’s most vulnerable communities and valuable forest ecosystems.
- Integrate rural economic development centered around forest protection into existing economic development and workforce readiness initiatives.
Our forests are the answer to the questions of solving the climate crisis, reimagining economic models, and rejuvenating the human spirit.
Forests need to be at the forefront of the agenda on climate action, community resilience, flood mitigation, water quality, and alternative rural economic development.
We cannot solve the climate crisis without a major scale-up in forest protection and restoration across the planet.
Governor Cooper, we believe in your vision for a strong and healthy state. North Carolina can lead the way in creating innovative solutions that uplift communities, create new markets, and remove vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. But it will mean taking a stand. We are eager to work with you to put North Carolina back on the path of leading the way for a prosperous and just future.