But in reality, that's not what's happening. This UN biomass carbon accounting loophole, as scientists call it, has propelled a brand new industry to prominence, with the wood pellet global market topping $7.6 billion in 2017. This document is subject to copyright. As more climate-conscious countries, like Japan, South Korea and China begin to use this wood pellet “loophole,” logging will continue to expand, likely undermining the climate goals the regulations are intended to support. When these pellets are burned in the EU, the electricity they generate helps fulfill Paris Agreement commitments. So reports William Schlesinger, President Emeritus of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, in an Insights article published today in the journal Science. The demand for pellets is only increasing, Pearce reports, jumping 40 percent between 2012 and 2015 alone. or, by Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Easy to store in dry environments. In his statement, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt claims the change is a win for sustainable energy and the forestry industry. Burning wood pellets as a form of energy has been a growing trend since 2009 when the European Union deemed it carbon neutral and began to subsidize the conversion to … Wood Pellets Wood pellets are alternative fuels made from sawdust. Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would begin to count the burning of "forest biomass"—a.k.a. Low moisture content for efficient burning. You can be assured our editors closely monitor every feedback sent and will take appropriate actions. Vote Now! Forests need proper management to remain carbon neutral. Here are five things to know about this controversial energy source: Biomass is only sustainable on long time scales. Trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere as they grow. or Then there is biodiversity to consider. “Today’s announcement grants America’s foresters much-needed certainty and clarity with respect to the carbon neutrality of forest biomass,” he says. Harvested pellets require fossil energy during manufacturing and overseas shipping. In fact, it’s even possible that cleared forest land could be converted to agricultural use, which would give biofuels a massive carbon footprint. The European Union is already relying on burning wood as a "carbon neutral" energy source to meet Paris Accord emission goals. She said when living trees are used to make wood pellets, instead of wood-mill leftovers, wood pellets are no longer carbon neutral — one of the reasons the N.W.T. But while burning wood immediately releases carbon, it takes decades or even a century for a replacement tree to absorb the same amount of carbon. It's also fueled illegal old-growth logging in ecologically sensitive areas, including the Carpathian Mountains of Romania and national parks in Slovakia. Low moisture content for efficient burning. Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies So if a tree is burned for fuel, the thinking goes, another can be planted to replace it. The change will classify burning of wood pellets a renewable energy similar to solar or wind power. One side of the climate ledger. Easy to store in dry environments. There are also no guarantees, laws or regulations that require managed forests to grow to the carbon-neutral point, the Post points out. As Emma Grey Ellis at Wired reports, forest carbon is not just stored in their wood—a large amount is stored in the soil. Environmental Protection Agency announced, Chris Mooney and Dino Grandoni point out at, Melting Ice in Norway Reveals Ancient Arrows, Medicinal Plant May Have Evolved Camouflage to Evade Humans, The Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2020, The Magical Animation of 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer', Why the Myths of Plymouth Dominate the American Imagination, Hegra, an Ancient City in Saudi Arabia Untouched for Millennia, Makes Its Public Debut, The Myths of the Thanksgiving Story and the Lasting Damage They Imbue, A History of Felines, as Narrated and Illustrated by a Cat, Long Before Trees Overtook the Land, Earth Was Covered by Giant Mushrooms, The New Science of Our Ancient Bond With Dogs, The True Story of the ‘Free State of Jones’, Why the P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II Beast of the Airways, Ruled the Skies, The Inspiring Quest to Revive the Hawaiian Language, Why Seagrass Could Be the Ocean's Secret Weapon Against Climate Change. 5G and future 6G terahertz absorbed by water vapour = heating? His work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other magazines. The Wood Pellet Business is Booming. Treating it as such – and supporting it with subsidies, as the UK and many other EU member states do – is a flawed path to climate action.
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