Daily Archives: February 28, 2017

Adapting to Sea-Level Rise – 5/2014


Published on May 14, 2014

Around the world sea level is rising. Compounded by stronger and more frequent storms, lives and infrastructure well beyond beaches and ocean front properties are increasingly at risk for flooding and worse. Protecting natural barriers and wetlands from additional development, along our coastlines and in impacted inland waterways, is critical to saving wildlife and helping to prevent new catastrophic loss resulting from events like super storm Sandy. Coastal states are now developing additional adaptation projects to help protect communities, industry and agriculture in flood prone areas. (Documentary).

5-2014 We’ve updated the preview clip for our documentary currently in production, “Adapting to Sea-Level Rise.” New interviews in Washington DC with Manley Fuller of Florida Wildlife Federation and former US Representative for Delaware and Co-Author of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, Tom Evans.

£450m lost over failed green power programme | News | The Times & The Sunday Times

Ben Webster, Environment Editor

February 23 2017, 12:01am, The Times

Britain is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds subsidising power stations to burn American wood pellets that do more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, a study has found.

Chopping down trees and transporting wood across the Atlantic Ocean to feed power stations produces more greenhouse gases than much cheaper coal, according to the report. It blames the rush to meet EU renewable energy targets, which resulted in ministers making the false assumption that burning trees was carbon-neutral.

Green subsidies for wood pellets and other biomass were championed by Chris Huhne when he was Liberal Democrat energy and climate change secretary in the coalition government. Mr Huhne, 62, who was jailed in 2013 for perverting the course of justice, is now European chairman of Zilkha Biomass, a US supplier of wood pellets.

…(read more).

Burning wood for energy makes global warming worse

New Scientist

Published on Feb 23, 2017

Countries in the EU, including the UK, are throwing away money by subsidising the burning of wood for energy, according to an independent report. Read more: http://ow.ly/byK7309i4cJ

The EU’s renewable energy policy is making global warming worse | New Scientist


Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty

By Michael Le Page

Countries in the EU, including the UK, are throwing away money by subsidising the burning of wood for energy, according to an independent report.

While burning some forms of wood waste can indeed reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in practice the growing use of wood energy in the EU is increasing rather than reducing emissions, the new report concludes.

Overall, burning wood for energy is much worse in climate terms than burning gas or even coal, but loopholes in the way emissions are counted are concealing the damage being done.

“It is not a great use of public money,” says Duncan Brack of the policy research institute Chatham House in London, who drew up the report. “It is providing unjustifiable incentives that have a negative impact on the climate.”

The money would be better spent on wind and solar power instead, he says.

It is widely assumed that burning wood does not cause global warming, that it is “carbon neutral”. But the report, which is freely available, details why this is not true.

More emissions

Firstly, burning wood produces more carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen dioxide per unit of energy produced than coal. When forests are logged, their soils also release carbon over the next decade or two. There are also emissions from the transport and processing of wood, which can be considerable.

…(read more).

Biomass subsidies ‘not fit for purpose’, says Chatham House | Carbon Brief


Subsidies should end for many types of biomass, a new Chatham House report argues, because they are failing to help cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The report adds that policymakers should tighten up accounting rules to ensure the full extent of biomass emissions are included.

The analysis outlines how policies intended to boost the use of biomass are in many cases “not fit for purpose” because they are inadvertently increasing emissions by often ignoring emissions from burning wood in power stations and failing to account for changes in forest carbon stocks.

It argues that UK and recently revised EU rules for bioenergy are inadequate for managing and monitoring the emissions from burning biomass.

Carbon Brief examines the main arguments of the report, which cut through the long-running debate about the climate impacts of burning biomass.

Contentious issue

The rising demand for renewable power around the world has led to a large increase in the production and burning of wood pellets. Advocates, such as power firm Drax – the UK’s largest biomass user – argue they are more reliable for providing baseload power than other renewables, such as wind or solar.

Worldwide production hit a record 28 million tonnes (Mt) in 2015, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), up from under 20Mt just three years earlier. Meanwhile, the UK has become the world’s largest importer of wood pellets, burning 42% of the 15.5Mt of total global imports in 2015.

…(read more).

Most wood energy schemes are a ‘disaster’ for climate change – BBC News

By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent

23 February 2017

Using wood pellets to generate low-carbon electricity is a flawed policy that is speeding up not slowing down climate warming.

That’s according to a new study which says wood is not carbon neutral and emissions from pellets are higher than coal.

Subsidies for biomass should be immediately reviewed, the author says.

But the industry rejected the report saying that wood energy cuts carbon significantly compared to fossil fuels.

Critical role

While much of the discussion has focussed on wind and solar power, across Europe the biggest source of green energy is biomass.

It supplies around 65% of renewable power – usually electricity generated from burning wood pellets.

EU Governments, under pressure to meet tough carbon cutting targets, have been encouraging electricity producers to use more of this form of energy by providing substantial subsidies for biomass burning.

However this new assessment from Chatham House suggests that this policy is deeply flawed when it comes to cutting CO2.

…(read more).

U.K. Claim That Burning Biomass Is Clean Seen as `Flawed’ – Bloomberg

by Anna Hirtenstein February 23, 2017, 4:00 AM EST February 23, 2017, 8:24 AM EST

  • Wood-to-power can emit more CO2 than coal, Chatham House says
  • BEIS reiterates stance that burning biomass is carbon-neutral

The U.K. government’s view of biomass as a carbon-neutral energy source is a “flawed assumption,” according to report from Chatham House.

The U.K. counts emissions from the supply chain that produces and delivers wood pellets or chips used in biomass power plants, but not when they’re burned to make electricity, the London-based research group said Thursday.

The report rebuts government policy, and comes as power producers including Drax Group Plc are using more of the fuel in an effort to reduce emissions produced from coal.

“Current policies that treat biomass as carbon-neutral do not reflect their real impacts on the climate,” said Duncan Brack, associate fellow of the energy, environment and resources Department at Chatham House. “Public money should only be used to subsidize technologies that genuinely reduce carbon emissions.”

…(read more).