It’s Time to Go Beyond Burning Forest Biomass for Energy!
On 19th October 2023 groups from six continents took a stand against large-scale forest biomass burning to produce energy, a false climate solution. The international day of action took place one month before COP 28 in Dubai, during which the Global Renewable Energy Target will be discussed. A global renewable energy target must not include forest biomass, a highly emissive and destructive energy source – said co-organizers of the Day of Action.
Thank you to everyone who took part! Below is a summary of some of the exciting things that happened during our “wave” of events around the world over 24 hours.
Contrary to the previous years, there were no bigger activities organised in Australia as last year they gained a win and burning native forests for bioenergy was made ineligible for government incentives and tradeable certificates!
That didn’t mean the continent was silent though – several organisations and individuals took part in our social media action.
In Asia activities took place in Japan and Indonesia. Besides that, EPN Asia-Pasific regional biomass working groups sent an Open letter to the president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) together with Trend Asia urging the bank to divest from financing burning of woody biomass, bioenergy and co-firing of coal powered plants.
In Japan a photo protest and a webinar was organised by Friends of the Earth Japan. In Indonesia Trend Asia organised also a webinar and a protest action. They also re-shared their video “Understanding biomass co-firing in “Indonesia’s coal-fired power plants” with English subtitles. Many groups in Asia also took part in our social media action, including FoE Malaysia and Solutions for Our Climate.
In Europe protest actions were organised in Germany, UK and Finland. In Germany photo actions against proposed biomass plants and at the Vattenfall HQ were organised in Cuxhaven, Leipzig, Berlin and Nürnberg by Natufreunde Berlin, Berlliner Energietisch, Parents4Future Cuxhaven, ROBIN WOOD Leipzig, Greenpeace Leipzig and BUND Naturschutz Nürnberg. There was also a video of a protest song against wood burning released by NABU Wilhelmshaven. In the UK banner protests were held in front of Barclays banks in London, Liverpool and York because of the bank’s funding of the Drax biomass energy plant by Biofuelwatch and Stop Burning Trees coalition. In Finland a photo action was held at Metsä Group HQ in Espoo – a pulp company promoting the use of bioenergy by Stop Fake Renewables Finland and Nature League Forest Group.
Besides the offline activities, several online activities were organised as well. To mention a few: In Denmark Rådet for Godt Indeklima was reporting websites of the wood selling companies to the police as the Danish ombudsman decided that they are not allowed to say that fire wood is environmental friendly, in The Netherlands an opinion article about BECCS was published in a national paper by Comité Schone Lucht, in Poland a briefing about planned investments in big bioenergy facilities was published and a mailing action was organised by Association Workshop for All Beings and in Portugal a national press release was sent out.
Birdlife Europe also published an article on the day called Biomass in the Renewable Energy Directive: all smoke and no fire?
In Africa GeaSphere from South Africa organised two discussions on the impacts of biomass and plantations in Africa. The first one took place on the Clubhouse platform and the other one was held in X Space.
In South-America Maiouri Nature Guyane from French-Guiana organised a press conference and a protest action in Cayenne to denounce the disproportionate development of industrial biomass which will impact the primary forests of French Guiana, for the benefit, among others, of the Kourou Space Center. In Chile people took part in our social media action.
In North-America offline activities took place in Washington DC in the United States and in Vancouver in Canada. In Washington DC Dogwood Alliance organised a press event in front of the White House with frontline community members from across the Southern States with a live stream. In Vancouver Stand.Earth held a protest action outside of the constituency office of the Federal Minister for Energy & Natural Resources and a petition was delivered to the Trudeau and Biden administrations with nearly 100,000 signatures.
Also several online activities took place. In Vermont an online film screening of “Burned: Are Trees the New Coal?” was organised by Stop Vermont Biomass coalition, in Oregon a webinar on “Forest Biomass, Oregon and Beyond” (View Webinar Recording here, passcode: .t4C8M3J – include the dot at the beginning) was organised by Illinois Valley/Oregon Chapter Sierra Club and in North Carolina a new film called “Burning the Future” was launched by Southern Forest Conservation . NRDC also published an expert blog.
Besides all the activities in different parts of the world, many people from all over took part in our social media actions on the day.