All posts filed under: biomass

Bioeconomy exhibition “On the wrong track” officially opened

Cover photo: Ana Rodríguez On Wednesday, December 8th, 2021 the photo exhibition “On the wrong track – Overexploitation of Humans and Nature for the Bioeconomy” was opened at the Institut français Bremen. At the beginning of the evening, the audience had the opportunity to take a first look at the exhibition. Afterwards, the program began in the large hall of the Institut français. denkhausbremen project manager Jana Otten gave an introduction to the topic of bioeconomy and explained the background of the exhibition to the audience. According to this, the production of renewable natural resources is not sustainable per se and often linked to human rights violations and environmental destruction in the Global South. In a video message, the tropical forest activist Sylvain Angerand from the French organization Canopée, reported on a French success story: In France, palm oil in so-called biofuels has been legally banned since 2020. Fenna Otten, tropical forest officer of Robin Wood, then gave insights into her research trips to Sumatra and highlighted, among other things, the devastating environmental impacts of …

The forest in the bio-capitalism

By Peter Gerhardt The forest has always been more than the sum of its trees. It is familiar with being a place of longing and a habitat, to deliver firewood and construction material and at the same time to fulfill all the important ecological functions. Our requirements have already put this ecosystem under tremendous pressure and in many places around the world have contributed to the fact that the forests are exhausted or have been destroyed. Regardless, now the forest should also protect humanity from a possible climate collapse and serve as a raw material storage for the economy of the future – the so-called bioeconomy. This cannot go well. But let’s start at the beginning. At this year’s UN climate summit in Glasgow, the political leaders surpassed themselves in a kind of outbidding competition to determine which country wants to save most of their forests from deforestation in the name of climate protection. At the same time, generous reforestation initiatives were promised. A total of 137 governments, whose nations are home to over 90% …

Biomass: EU asks – denkhausbremen replies

Statement on survey by the European Commission for European biomass policy from 2020 The current European biomass policy has serious consequences for the environment. The European energy companies are on a global shopping spree for timber. The electricity suppliers are burning this wood in their power plants and receiving public money according to EU rules. This leads to forest destruction and is harmful for the global climate. denkhausbremen did research on the impact of the EU biomass policy in 2015 in the southern United States and France and is currently working with its partners against the clearcut policy of those power companies ( www.denkhausbremen.de/kahlschlag-fuer-e-on-und-rwe ). Now the EU is revising its biomass strategy after 2020 and has implemented a stakeholder consultation which ends on the 10th of May. This is the statement of denkhausbremen: The current EU Biomass policy is causing the destruction of biodiverse wetland forests in the southern US-states. Research has already documented the chain of custody from clearcuts in the southern US states such as North Carolina to the European power plants. …

Barking up the wrong tree: Energy giants are on a worldwide shopping tour for wood in order to produce ”green” electricity

Humanity has got an energy problem. Fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal are finite and burn-ing them causes climate change. Nuclear energy is dangerous and produces radioactive waste. Renewable energies such as sun, wind or biomass are thus to provide us with green energy in the future. That’s old news. Political efforts are made to induce the necessary energy transformation with quotas and sub-sidies. The EU wants biomass to play a major role in the renewable energies for the future. Renewables are expected to account for 20% of energy consumption by 2020, goals for 2030 are negotiated right now. As for the EU, biomass would primarily mean wood. The European hunger for wood has fatal consequences: forests are clear-cut and fertile farmland and precious ecosystems are destroyed for industrial wood plantations. And it’s not a no solution for climate change. Even the US government noted in June this year that energy from wood is by no means climate-neutral. Facing climate change and a new situation for energy policy, the energy giants’ coal-fired power …

In the critical 2017 agricultural report: Clear-cutting for electricity companies

By Peter Gerhardt and Michael Gerhardt Wood has been an important source of energy for humans since time immemorial. On a small scale and at a local level, this can be a meaningful lifestyle of giving to and taking from na-ture. Now corporations like E.ON and RWE have discovered the forest as a source of energy and unpack the chainsaw. As a result, species-rich forest ecosystems are degraded to indus-trial tree monocultures or whole forest areas are cut down. The energy giants are even subsi-dized for this exploitation of nature by public funds because the EU has set up wrong climate protection rules. The corporations’ hunger for wood shows how our growth-oriented economy exhausts the global ecosystems in the long term. The pressure on the forests is increasing – forest areas worldwide are being destroyed for agri-culture, firewood, mining and dams. A look at the expansion plans of the paper industry also shows that this industry will continue to destroy large forest areas. However, now the global battle for a share of wood reaches a …

Unipers wood burning in Provence power station destroys forests!

Press release from Denkhaus Bremen, SOS Foret du Sud, Rettet den Regenwald and the Association of Critical Shareholders: Unipers wood burning in Provence power station destroys forests! (Essen, 8 June 2017) French and German environmentalists criticize the Group’s biomass strategy at the first Shareholders’ Meeting of the E.ON spin-off Uniper, which takes place on Thursday (8 June 17) in Essen. Uniper is currently equipping block 4 of the Provence coal-fired power station in Gardanne, southern France, on wood burning and is now in the trial phase. From the point of view of environmental organizations, forests in France and overseas are at risk. “Combustion of wood for electricity production on an industrial scale puts a considerable strain on the atmosphere by emissions of CO2 and increases the pressure on forests. The most stupid solution to our energy problems is the conversion of ancient coal-fired power plants to wood firing, “says Peter Gerhardt of Denkhaus Bremen. Uniper plans to burn over 800,000 tonnes of wood annually in Gardanne. “The energy giant must immediately stop this madness!” Nicholas …

No forest overexploitation for a flawed energy transition

Joint statement by German environmental and development associations on wood biomass Download the statement as a pdf here Forests are irreplaceable for the protection of biodiversity and our climate, they form the basis of life for people, animals and plants. Nevertheless, the global forest ecosystems are threatened. There are many reasons for this – from illegal logging to the expansion of agricultural land to the high demand for raw materials in the paper and pulp industry. As a result, forests are cleared, overexploited or converted into timber plantations with few species. Now the forests are also coming under pressure in the name of climate protection. One reason for this is the wrong decision by the EU to classify the combustion of wood as climate-neutral. This gives the EU member states the opportunity to subsidize wood biomass for electricity and heat production as a climate protection measure. There is a danger that the energetic use of wood biomass will continue to be promoted on a large scale in Germany. The federal government wants to bring the …

Online congress: How much bioeconomy can our planet cope with?

Alternative Bioeconomy Summit (online), February 23, 2022 What has to be on the agenda of the new federal government, to design a socially just and ecologically sustainable economy of the future ? Again and again, salvation has been promised by bioeconomy – an economic system operating with biological resources. Though, farmland, forests and oceans can supply a limited amount of biomass only, and most ecosystems are already under enormous pressure. Now and then, the production of agricultural goods in the Global South is obtained at the cost of serious human rights violations, while in Germany an increasing social division is threatening social peace. Not an easy starting point for developing the economy of the future. Ultimately, the often-cited planetary boundaries must become the cast for practical policies without neglecting the fair distribution of natural resources. Experts from environmental and development organizations, politics, science and specialist authorities come together at this Bioeconomy Action Forum Online Summit to define guardrails for a sustainable future. Please use the following link to register : https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwtc-qvrDMqH9buU-jfLKlTrFPWW1ySE-dm Event with impulses from, …