US Forest Service Report Justifies Growing Concerns About the Future of Southern Forests

The US Forest Service’s Southern Research Station released a report assessing the current and potential impact of the rapidly expanding wood pellet export market on the forests of the US South. The South is already the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of wood pellets as fuel for electricity generation. The wood pellet industry has plans […]

Forests Should Be Front and Center in Lima #COP20, Part II

So, how is it that utility companies in Europe can get away with claiming offsets without having to verify and validate those claims? Why are they not held to the same globally-recognized set of standards as everyone else? Why do they get to take credit today for an offset that is not likely to accrue for decades into the future, if it even happens at all? Where is the legally-binding agreement to keep the carbon stored in the forest for 100+ years? And, perhaps most disturbing of all, how are the utility companies taking credit for (and reaping the value of) the carbon stored in someone else’s forests without paying the forest owners? This double standard is beyond troublesome.

Forests Should Be Front and Center in Lima #COP20

The longer forests are allowed to grow, the greater the climate benefit. This basic biological fact has given rise to a number of international programs and policies designed to encourage the protection of forests as carbon sinks. In fact, the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, of which many European nations are signatories, has developed a variety of tools and policy frameworks to encourage greater forest conservation.

EPA Misses the Forest for the Trees

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has failed to protect the forests, communities and climate with its new proposed framework for regulating biogenic carbon emissions from stationary sources. They have not followed the recommendations of their own Scientific Advisory Board as well as the mounting government and academic research that burning trees for electricity is going to increase Carbon emissions and accelerate climate change.

New York Declaration on Forests: Where Does Burning Forests for Electricity Fit in? It Doesn’t.

It’s encouraging to see forests emerge as a major point of focus with the release of the New York Declaration on Forests. Since launching the Our Forests Aren’t Fuel campaign last year, I have been scratching my head in disbelief about the contradiction that exists when it comes to global forest climate policies. Over recent years, there has been a suite of initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions from forest loss and degradation, which admittedly accounts for 20% of global carbon emissions. As part of the New York Declaration of Forests, three European nations – UK, Norway and Germany – announced increased global funding for reducing deforestation and increasing forest conservation.