COP 26 Press Conference Advisory: Beyond Burning, Beyond Biomass

Friday November 05, 2021

Replacing coal with forest biomass threatens global climate targets and biodiversity; UK, Canada, EU countries face calls for immediate action

Glasgow, Scotland — Ahead of the National Day of Action on Climate Justice at COP26, Stand.earth has gathered policy experts, scientists, and advocates who are demanding immediate action on unfettered biomass energy expansion and the protection of standing forests. Forest biomass used for energy production is being widely condemned by the scientific community as a false climate solution, one which is financially propped up by the same government mechanisms as fossil fuels. Despite producing more carbon dioxide emissions at the smokestack than coal and causing devastating forest destruction, biomass energy has been mislabelled as green and carbon neutral, underpinned by carbon accounting loopholes and unproven carbon capture schemes upheld at the COP.

Representatives from Stand.earth, Methane Action, Wild Europe and Partnership for Policy Integrity (PFPI), supported by Cut Carbon Not Forests, Biomass International Working Groups and Biofuelwatch UK, will offer their latest collective research and urgent calls to action for the governments of the UK, Canada, and the EU, as well as other major biomass burning countries like Japan.

What: Press conference with climate and forest experts about the growing threat of forest biomass expansion

When: Saturday, November 6th at 9:30am GMT (5:30am ET and 2:30am PT)

Where: Press Conference Room Durdle Door (Area D - Ground Floor) at COP26 (Glasgow, Scotland)

Who: 

  • Maya Menezes, Senior Forest Campaigner, Stand.earth 
  • Daphne Wynsham, CEO, Methane Action 
  • Zoltan Kun, member of IUCN Primary Forest Task Team and Conservation Advisor, Partnership for Policy Integrity (PFPI) 
  • Toby Aykroyd, Director, Wild Europe 

Link for virtual attendance: https://unfccc-cop26.streamworld.de/webcast/standearth-climate-action-network-canada-beyond-bu

Background

Amid announcements at COP26 from countries and associations like the Powering Past Coal Alliance, the worsening issue of forest biomass remains unsolved. Canada, one of the top suppliers of forest biomass to the UK and Japan, is increasingly relying on logging of primary forests to produce biomass. British Columbia, Canada’s top exporting province for forest biomass, recently released findings that millions of hectares of old growth forests are at imminent risk of irreversible biodiversity loss. These forests are among the most carbon-rich on the planet, and the science is clear that emissions associated with logging these primary forests cannot be recovered (including with carbon capture schemes at the stack). 

Despite making pledges to reduce carbon emissions and protect forests, the lack of action to address forest biomass will undermine this work and generate massive carbon emissions while destroying the very forests that the world needs most to combat climate change. Scientists estimate that planned growth for biomass energy would require a doubling of commercial forestry.

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Media contacts: 

Maya Menezes, Senior Forests Campaigner, mayam@stand.earth, +1 647 832 3963 (Glasgow Time)

Ziona Eyob, Media Director - Canada, canmedia@stand.earth, +1 604 757 7279 (Pacific Time)