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.
(See our agrofuels section for tree plantations)
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.
Over the past two decades, industrial tree plantations (ITPs) have increased their area in the global South about fourfold. Some of the main countries with millions of hectares include Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia. ITPs are expanding in African countries, like Mozambique, and in the Mekong region in the context of increasing land grabbing. This expansion is Northern-driven; the US and the European Union together consume most of the final products.
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 concise and accessible explanation of why tree plantations are not the same as forests.
Analyses the way in which industrial and governmental support to the industry is increasing poverty and misleading consumers.
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.
Until monoculture tree plantations are excluded from certification the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) will continue to be a problem for local communities and the environment.
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.
A detailed examination of traditional and industrial palm oil production in Africa.
The EU is playing a major role in disempowering women in the South by driving the conversion of local ecosystems and farmlands into monoculture plantations.
Exposes the working conditions suffered by those who are employed on plantations and the effects of this work on their health.
A briefing on the dangers of genetically engineered trees and cellulosic agrofuels (unsustainably produced biofuels).