Fact finding missions

Bioenergy and social injustice in southeastern US

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By guest author Linde Zuidema, Bioenergy Campaigner, Fern “Communities were not informed nor consulted about this wood pellet facility, the process was everything but transparent. All is decided behind closed doors, and all they tell us is lies, lies, lies. The County claims it doesn’t have money to put a new roof on the school, […]

Fact finding missions

Many trees, but few forests in the southern US

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By Sini Eräjää, Policy Officer EU Bioenergy, Birdlife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau “There are still some trees down here but there’s all the time less forests” said a shopkeeper in the town of Ahoskie in North Carolina. He was sitting in front of his shop while the smokestacks of a pellet mill owned by […]

Fact finding missions

A story unfolding, EU energy policy and American forests

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By Sini Eräjää, Policy Officer EU Bioenergy, Birdlife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau I never would have thought that in the early days of the EU’s efforts to increase renewable energy use that working in this field would take me to forests along the southern US coast. What do European renewable energy policies have to do with […]

Case studies

Can biogas be green? Organic Denmark shows the way

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By Lisa Benedetti, BirdLife Europe Despite costing taxpayers more than 50 billion euro annually, and despite attempts to make it greener, the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) still supports farming practices that dirty Europe’s waters, are hard on soils and threaten biodiversity. Even worse, in their implementation Member States often use the flexibility afforded to […]

Opinion

Massachusetts has some lessons for Europe about bioenergy

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By guest author Bram Claeys, currently Climate & Energy Adviser at an international environmental NGO, previously Deputy Director Renewable Energy at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Now that the European Commission has an open consultation about the need for sustainability criteria for bioenergy, it’s the perfect time to look across the Atlantic for inspiration. […]

News

Wood pellet travel from North American forests to Belgian furnaces

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Check out Greenpeace Belgium’s nifty tool which demonstrates the potential dangers and questionable sustainability of wood pellets that are being used to fuel power plants in Belgium by companies like Electrabel, RWE and E.ON. The tool traces all the different steps, from wood pellet production in North America to burning in Belgian furnaces. The journey begins in forests […]

News

Where the wood pellet industry threatens US forests

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By Lisa Benedetti, BirdLife Europe The American southeast is a place where rich bottomland hardwood forests support rare plants and animals and important ecosystem services. But millions of hectares of trees in the southeastern US are under the axe because of UK and European policies which have given birth to a wood pellet industry which […]

Opinion

Biomass and the EU’s Circular Economy equation

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By Sini Eräjää, Policy Officer EU Bioenergy, Birdlife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau Last December the European Commission published their long awaited Action Plan for the Circular Economy. The intention is to show how the EU will move from a wasteful linear to a circular economy where resources and materials are continuously re-used and recycled […]