Environmental groups today celebrated the enactment of Massachusetts’ new climate law, An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind, which will expand clean energy development and end renewable energy subsidies for wood-burning power plants. The new law makes Massachusetts the first state in the nation to remove woody biomass from its Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS). While there are only two small biomass plants that currently qualify for MA’s RPS, that number was poised to balloon as a result of imminent changes to the program advanced by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER). By removing woody biomass from the RPS program altogether, the new law will prevent DOER’s rule changes from going into effect.
A powerful US biomass lobby group is pushing for a raft of changes that would weaken European renewable energy rules geared to better protect biodiversity and tackle climate change, DeSmog can reveal. Leaked documents shared with DeSmog show that Yorkshire wood-burning power plant Drax is at the heart of the effort to water down EU sustainability criteria. Campaigners say that the proposed amendments pose an “existential threat” to the company, which in 2021 produced nearly 13 percent of the UK’s renewable electricity through burning wood pellets.
Representatives From 192 Nations Continue Meeting In Glasgow, Scotland, At COP26 This Week In Hopes Of Making Deals To Save Humanity, Cool The Planet, And Salvage Their Nations’ Reputations. However, Absent From The Conference Agenda Are Discussions Of Carbon Accounting Loopholes That Scientists Say Are Dangerously Underreporting Emissions And Speeding Climate Change. An Overlooked Issue Is Forest Biomass: Burning Wood To Produce Energy. Despite Research Proving Otherwise, The Practice Continues To Be Called Carbon Neutral By Nations And The Forestry Industry, Allowing Significant Greenhouse Gas Emissions To Go Uncounted. That Has Caused Some Policy And Advocacy Groups To Dub Forest Biomass Burning “The Green Myth.”
A group of over 500 international scientists on Thursday urged world leaders to end policies that prop up the burning of trees for energy because it poses "a double climate problem" that threatens forests' biodiversity and efforts to stem the planet's ecological emergency. The demand came in a letter addressed to European Commission President Urusla Von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The signatories—including renowned botanist Dr. Peter Raven, president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden—reject the assertion that burning biomass is carbon neutral.
The Public Health Council of Springfield on Saturday, November 21, sent a letter to the chairs of the House-Senate Climate Change Conference requesting that there be no incentives written into the legislation under consideration promoting the building of biomass as a source of electricity. According to the letter signed by the Public Health Council Environmental Health Chair Dr. Jeffrey Scavron, “The Public Health Council urges you to do all you can to not allow the construction of a Biomass Furnace in our city.
Springfield, MA - More than 75 people gathered on the steps of City Hall on Thursday calling for an end to a long-proposed biomass project in East Springfield, saying it is a threat to public health and an environmental hazard. Some of those speaking used he phrase “we can’t breathe” in expressing their strong opposition to the wood-to-energy plant proposed by Palmer Renewable Energy LLC at 1000 Page Blvd. Verne McArthur, of the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition, led the activists and residents in chants against the biomass project, including, “We will, we will, block you, block you.”
Hundreds of scientists are urging lawmakers to oppose legislation that would encourage wood burning or logging as potential climate solutions. The science doesn’t support it, they say. Last week, more than 200 scientists from 35 states sent a letter to members of Congress outlining their concerns. “We find no scientific evidence to support increased logging to store more carbon in wood products … as a natural climate solution,” they wrote. “Furthermore, the scientific evidence does not support the burning of wood in place of fossil fuels as a climate solution.” In recent years, members of both Congress and the Trump administration have proposed various measures that would define biomass burning as a carbon neutral energy source.
By the Global Forest Coalition. Paris, France - The Global Forest Coalition  is launching a new report at the Paris climate talks today titled “Biomyths, the Costly Carbon Scam of Bioenergy”.  The report exposes how large-scale bioenergy is being promoted as a replacement to some fossil fuels, based on what it calls the myth of its “carbon neutrality”. “Accepting that large-scale bioenergy can be carbon neutral will permit power plants to go on pumping carbon emissions into the atmosphere whilst countries falsely claim that they are reducing emissions.” said Mary Lou Malig, Global Forest Coalition Campaigns Coordinator, who is currently attending the climate negotiations. “In combination with proposals like Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), such claims turn any possible agreement that might come out of Paris into a fraudulent scam.”