As the City Council of Aarhus works on new climate change legislation, it is time for the city to phase-out district heating created by burning forests from the Southern United States, and phase-in truly renewable alternatives such as green heat pumps and geothermal energy, say 17 American NGOs in a letter sent to the Mayor of Aarhus today.
In an open letter (English, Danish) from NGOs in the sourcing region for Denmark utility Ørsted’s biomass demand, Lord Mayor Bundsgaard is warned that biomass demand is harmful to forests, communities, and the climate. To paint the picture of this point, the groups point Aarhus political leadership no further than news coverage from Danish news outlet TV 2: last August, a team of reporters from TV 2 Denmark were able to expose the control errors in Enviva’s biomass sourcing: showing the near-impossibility of controlling an industry that is operating an ocean away.
Letting forests grow is the single best way we currently have to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Standing forests keep growing, storing more carbon and helping to limit the growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide arising from sectors of the economy that are difficult to decarbonize.
The NGOs conclude with a call on Aarhus to phase-out district heating that is created by burning forests from the Southern United States, and phase-in truly renewable alternatives such as green heat pumps and geothermal energy.
To see the letter in Danish: see here
To see the letter in English: see here
Full list of signatories:
Natural Resources Defense Council
Southern Forests Conservation Coalition
Rachel Carson Council
John Muir Project
Coastal Plain Conservation Group
Green Belt Movement
The Concerned Citizens of Northampton County
Spruill Farm Conservation Project
The Enviro Show
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, Triangle Chapter
350.org, Triangle Chapter
Sierra Club Capital Group
Chatham Research Group
To note: this is not the first-time an international spotlight has been placed on Denmark’s use of forest as fuel. Last October, international NGOs sent a letter to Minister of Climate, Energy, and Supply, Dan Jørgensen