The case studies in this report show that countries in the Global South are already excessively reliant on the use of conventional wood-based sources, especially charcoal, mainly for the production of heat and electricity. In the Global North there is a shift taking place, from fossil-based fuels to wood-based energy, and this is clearly evident in the UK, the US and Sweden. Thus demand for wood is likely to increase even further. The use of wood-based bioenergy urgently needs to be reevaluated within the context of a justice-based framework that prioritises meeting basic and health needs and avoiding ecological damage.
Agrofuels and biomass
This edition of the Global Forest Coalition's newsletter, Forest Cover, focuses on the impacts of wood-based bioenergy on forests and forest peoples and is co-published with member group Biofuelwatch.
Global Justice Ecology Project’s report examines the status of genetically engineered trees and their potential use as a bioenergy feedstock; reveals industry-government-university-research institution collusion to advance GE trees for bioenergy; and describes the campaign to stop the genetic engineering of trees.
This groundbreaking report looks at the recent push for the commercialization of GE trees by biotech, energy, and paper companies and exposes the truth behind industry claims that these GE trees promote 'environmental sustainability.'
Two-page fact sheet on the dangers of GE trees.
This report focusses on the real impacts of UK biomass policies on forests and on communities. The centrepiece of the report is an investigation into the impacts of eucalyptus plantations for wood pellet production in Brazil.
Oil palm companies usually deny that their plantations cause problems. In order to gain support for their expansion plans they disseminate a series of misleading statements. The aim of this booklet is to expose a number of these statements.
This two-page A4 flyer can be downloaded for distribution. It gives a concise explanation of the risks and negative impacts of bio-economy strategies and links to six key recent reports on bio-economies and other information materials, from a range of NGOs and Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations (all of which which are also available on this website).
A review of standards, criteria, and schemes certifying industrial biomass as 'sustainable', with particular emphasis on UK biomass electricity developments.
A close inspection of some governments’ proposals concerning the ‘green economy’ agenda being discussed at ‘Rio+20’ reveals an absolute determination to use it as a means of protecting and developing the banking, biotech, manufacturing, agribusiness and energy sectors, even at the expense of vulnerable communities and the environment.
This report outlines the serious negative impacts the so-called 'bioeconomy' will have on forests, forest-dependent peoples, and biodiversity.
UK-‐based power companies are using the myth that biomass is 'carbon neutral' to continue their emissions and greenwash their polluting activities permitted under the EU Emissions Trading System and other EU legislation. This deceptive accounting undermines analysis that places emissions from biomass on a par with fossil fuels.
Agrofuels, which rely on large-scale industrial monocultures, are a cause of global warming, not part of a solution.
A critical look at the claims around biochar, reviewing the science underlying the claims, explaining what biochar advocates are pushing for, and presenting an outline of the companies involved (updated version).
A critique of what OECD countries are calling 'the new bioeconomy'. Sold as an ecological switch from a ‘black carbon’ (i.e fossil fuel) economy to a ‘green carbon’ (plant-based) economy, this emerging bioeconomy is in fact a red-hot resource grab.
In the light of updated figures on the power of corporations, the ETC Group warns that the competition for control of biomass will perpetuate more than a green economy, it will be the economy of greed.
This publication presents a compilation of articles written by grassroots member organisations of La Via Campesina analysing agrofuel production and its impacts in their national and local contexts.
This report discusses the scale and impact of land grabbing for agrofuels in Africa.
This report is designed to provide key background information that will help explain advancements in the area of genetically engineered tree research and development, as well as the global effort to prohibit the environmental release of GE trees.
Biochar involves burning woody biomass and burying the resulting charcoal to remove carbon from the atmosphere with the intention of improving soil quality. Industrial-scale production would inevitably exacerbate land-grabbing and the destruction of ecosystems and rural livelihoods in Africa.
BECCS, or biomass with CCS, will mean burning more biomass for less energy. Most biomass combustion facilities already operate at best at about 30% efficiency. Adding CCS will therefore result in even more deforestation, land use change and air pollution.
As governments in the global North look to diversify their economies away from fossil fuel and mitigate climate change, plans for biomass energy are growing fast. These are fuelling a sharp rise in the demand for wood, which, for some countries, could outstrip domestic supply capacity by as much as 600 per cent.
This report looks at developments in a number of Southern and Central American countries, all of which are scaling up agrofuel production at alarming rates including to meet demand for exports.
This new report lists ten reasons why jatropha is neither a profitable nor a sustainable investment.
First-hand reports from communities about widespread violations of people's rights and environmental destruction, caused by a land grab initially funded by the World Bank in Uganda.
The jatropha plant has been identified as an ideal source of biodiesel. However, evidence suggests that jatropha grown in its present form will not deliver the benefits its supporters have promised.
A commentary on the sustainability claims of Malaysia's palm oil lobby, with a special focus on the state of Sarawak.
This report discusses US agrofuels targets, and describes the "industrial juggernaut" driving agrofuels production.
A briefing on the dangers of genetically engineered trees and cellulosic agrofuels (unsustainably produced biofuels).