Category Archives: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wood Pellet Association of Canada Spring Newsletter

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada
May 13, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada is pleased to announce the release of their Spring 2024 newsletter. Click the read more link for these headlines and more:

  • R&D Positions Canada’s Pellet Sector for Long-Term Success
  • Europe Continues to Lead in the Global Development of Pellet and Bioenergy Sector
  • Canada-Taiwan Collaboration: Green Energy and Wood Pellets
  • Northern Perspectives on the European Deforestation Regulation
  • Pellet.org Gets Fresh Look and Easier to Use!
  • Fibre Recovery and Bioenergy Projects Make Communities Safer
  • Osoyoos Indian Band and Mercer Celgar Work Together to Enhance the Use of “Waste Wood”
  • Gordon Murray: 2024 Canadian Biomass Champion of the Year

Read More

Canada plummets to 62nd in 2024 Climate Change Performance Index

By Jacqueline St. Pierre
The Manitoulin Expositor in the Hamilton Spectator
May 8, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Canada has slipped to 62nd place out of 67 ranked countries on the latest Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI). This downgrade of five ranks underscores the nation’s dire performance in critical areas such as greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy adoption, and energy efficiency, with its climate policy rates deemed “low.” The CCPI, a monitoring tool published annually by Germanwatch since 2005, evaluates countries’ climate protection efforts. The latest report highlights Canada’s dismal performance despite its status as the sixth-largest crude oil producer and the fifth-largest natural gas producer globally. …In response to mounting pressure, the Canadian government has proposed regulations for a net-zero electricity grid by 2035 and pledged investments in renewable energy and grid modernization projects. However, challenges such as the absence of a national power grid and disconnected regional grids hamper clean energy deployment.

Read More

R&D Positions Canada’s Pellet Sector for Long-Term Success

By Gord Murray, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
Canadian Biomass
May 7, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada… is advancing five major research and development projects in 2024:

  1. Enhancing traceability – Increasingly, global markets and governments are asking for further proof that the products they purchase come from well-managed forests. 
  2. Exploring New Biomass Pathways – In the future, there will be an increasing reliance on forest biomass… with rocks and sand which creates wear and tear on mill equipment and increases safety hazards.
  3. Agri-Pellet Production Potential – WPAC is partnering with the UBC’s Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group to undertake a multi-year study to determine strategic locations and capacity of agri-pellet production facilities. 
  4. Consistent & Technically Sound Standards – WPAC will represent Canadian wood pellet interests on ISO Technical Committee 238. 
  5. Reducing GHGs and Enabling a Net Negative Future – Applied for funding to examine the potential to increase the use of forest and harvest residuals using near-infrared radiation (NIR) spectroscopy

Read More

Canada’s 2024 National Inventory Report shows Canada is successfully reducing emissions

By environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
May 2, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

GATINEAU, QC – …The latest National Inventory Report confirms Canada has bent the curve and is reducing emissions toward achieving the country’s 2030 emissions reduction goal in a growing economy. …The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, released Canada’s 2024 National Inventory Report, which tracks and reports on the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. This year’s edition provides estimates from 1990 to 2022. The new National Inventory Report data for 2022 shows emissions were significantly lower, by 44 megatonnes, than Canada’s pre-pandemic 2019 levels. In fact, 2022 emissions of 708 megatonnes are the lowest they have been in 25 years, with the exception of the COVID–19 years, when emissions dropped sharply. …This year’s inventory also provides evidence that many parts of the economy are becoming more efficient and greener through the adoption of clean technologies; the switch to cleaner fuels and non-emitting electricity (hydro, wind, solar, nuclear); and structural economic changes as Canadians build a low-carbon economy.

Read More

Winners of 2024 Canadian Biomass Awards announced

Canadian Biomass Magazine
April 19, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Biomass professionals from across Canada gathered for a virtual celebration this week as the winners of the inaugural Canadian Biomass Awards were announced. Awards were handed out in five special categories, recognizing the work of both individuals and organizations across the country. 

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Rob McCurdy, Burkhard Fink and John Swaan
  • Community Project of the Year: Village of Fort Simpson
  • Thought Leader of the Year: Liezl van Wyk, Drax Group Canada
  • Champion of the Year: Gordon Murray, Wood Pellet Assn of Canada
  • Company of the Year: Ecostrat

Additional coverage by Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd: Williams Lake Local Recognized at 2024 Canadian Biomass Awards

Read More

New members appointed to BC Climate Solutions Council

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
The Province of BC
May 22, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

New members of B.C.’s Climate Solutions Council will support the Province’s work to transition to a clean economy with good, sustainable jobs for British Columbians. “After another year of unprecedented climate impacts and the worst wildfire season in B.C.’s history, we know we need to accelerate our work taking action on climate change,” said Minister George Heyman. …The combined knowledge of the Climate Solutions Council is an important part of our work to find a path forward to a cleaner future for all of us. We welcome aboard our new members and appreciate our outgoing members’ contribution.” …New council members [include]: Denni Clement, climate-action peer network lead for the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative; Linda Coady, president and CEO, Council of Forest Industries; [and] Matt Horne, manager of climate mitigation, City of Vancouver.

Read More

New Study Shows the Potential of Mixing Woody Biomass Sources in a Hammermill

By UBC Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group
Wood Pellet Association of Canada
May 8, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Research completed in cooperation between the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and UBC’s Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group found that hammer milling a heterogenous mix of feedstock consisting of unground forest residue, unground sawdust, ground forest residue and ground sawdust is possible without any loss of productivity. Post-doctoral researcher, Dr. Jun Sian Lee conducted the study to understand the grindability and friability (the tendency of a solid substance to break into smaller pieces under stress or contact) of woody biomass such as sawdust and forest residue. The findings  demonstrate that introducing a more heterogenous feedstock into a hammermill will not necessarily lower hammermill productivity.  This would reduce the need to stratify the feedstock before hammer milling. The conversion of raw biomass into usable feedstock involves a crucial preliminary step known as deconstruction, wherein biomass materials are processed to attain suitable particle sizes. 

Read More

BC Says a Damning Federal Climate Progress Report Is Wrong

By Andrew Macleod
The Tyee
May 8, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

George Hayman

BC United accused the NDP government of having the worst greenhouse gas emissions record in Canada Tuesday, but Climate Minister George Heyman said the claim is based on inaccurate data from the federal government. B.C.’s record will look much better when the data is corrected, he said. …BC United Renee Merrifield said the “National Inventory Report 1990-2022” is Canada’s submission under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Emissions have dropped in nearly every other province since 2016, Merrifield said. …The federal report found that emissions were lower in seven provinces — including Alberta, Ontario and Quebec — than they had been before the pandemic, and overall the country’s greenhouse gas emissions had trended down from 2005, showing a 7.1% drop. …George Heyman, the minister of environment and climate change strategy, said the federal government’s numbers are inaccurate and he expects they will be fixed in future reports.

Read More

‘Exceptional climate change event’ could drive B.C. fire weather this week

By Stephan Labbe
Castanet
May 1, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

An “exceptional climate change event” is forecast to push temperatures well above seasonal averages across B.C. this week and could lead to spike in wildfire risk, a new analysis warns. Scientists at the U.S. research group Climate Central have released models showing a warm spell stretching May 1 to 5 will be made five times more likely due to climate change. Temperatures over the five-day period are expected to climb between five and 10 degrees Celsius above the historical average, according to Andrew Pershing at Climate Central. …Brian Proctor, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada who didn’t take part in the Climate Central analysis, said computer weather models he has seen suggest temperatures rising between three to five degrees Celsius across some parts of B.C. Proctor said last year’s May heat wave hit later, harder and extended over a wider area than what’s expected over the coming days in BC.

Read More

Climate change intensified heat dome, firestorms in Pacific Northwest

By Tiffany Crawford
The Vancouver Sun
April 25, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The deadly heat dome that blanketed B.C. for nearly a month in 2021 was significantly worse because of human-caused climate change, according to a new study. Published this week in Communications Earth and Environment, the study found the heat dome was 34% larger and lasted 59% longer, or 27 more days, than a heat wave would have without the effects of global heating caused by humans. Analyzing 40 years of heat wave and wildfire data, Canadian and American researchers found that the greatest number of high temperature and low humidity records were broken in 2021, most of them in July. …While there’s already a well-established link between heat waves and wildfires, this study shows how the heat dome was more intense because of human-caused climate change, said Piyush Jain with Natural Resources Canada. …Jain said the same goes for the extreme wildfires that happened during and after the heat dome.

Read More

How a Japanese Earthquake Shook BC’s Forest Future

By Ben Parfitt, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
The Tyee
April 24, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ben Parfitt

…Japan’s rapid development of its bioenergy industry (after the 2011 earthquake) comes at considerable cost to those countries that are supplying it with the biomass to run the new network of plants, be it Borneo … or the primary and old-growth forests of central British Columbia… The company responsible for producing and selling the lion’s share of Canadian-made wood pellets to Japan is Drax… Drax owns outright or is a partner in numerous mills in B.C. and Alberta… Given rising concerns over the fate of primary forests both at home and abroad, it is long past due for the B.C. government to make fundamental reforms to forest policy. …In the absence of such fundamental reforms, B.C. is likely to slip further into a deepening timber supply crisis that the government and forest industry both know is well underway. 

Read More

Export of wood pellets from B.C. forests challenged in report

By Stefan Labbé
Business in Vancouver
April 24, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stefan Labbé

The amount of wood pellets chipped out of British Columbia’s forests and shipped overseas has doubled in the past 10 years, raising concerns the timber industry continues to neglect manufacturing in favour of direct export, a new report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, authored by forestry expert Ben Parfitt. It analyzes the rise of Japan as B.C.’s largest destination for wood pellets… Parfitt says policymakers should ban pellets made from logged primary forests. He also says the province should enact a “solid wood first” policy where companies are penalized if they convert logs into wood pellets when the wood could otherwise be made into value-added products like trusses and joists. He recommends applying a carbon tax on emissions connected to logs or wood waste now burned as “slash.” And to improve transparency, he proposes a legal requirement that all timber-processing facilities submit to annual reports detailing what wood they use.

Read More

Climate and housing both part of the same solution

By Warren Frey
The Journal of Commerce
April 23, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Don Iveson

Edmonton’s former mayor is optimistic the housing and climate crises can be addressed together and to everyone’s benefit. Don Iveson spoke at the COFI conference held recently in Vancouver on the need to interconnect housing initiatives with climate change adaptation. In addition to working as executive adviser on climate investing and community resilience for Co-Operators Insurance, Iveson is also co-chair of the Task Force for Housing and Climate, which aims to address the housing crisis while including measures to increase climate change resilience. …“How do we deliver that housing in a climate-smart way and make sure these houses will be resilient to the weather,” Iveson said. He added homebuilders will have to ensure emissions aren’t locked into builds that undermine the national Emissions Reduction Plan. …He added modularization and embracing technological innovation would be vital pieces to both increasing housing stock and fixing Canada’s lagging productivity woes.

Read More

Evidence suggests carbon tax reduces GHG emissions

By Laura Brougham
Chek News
April 21, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

As criticism of the carbon tax continues, a University of British Columbia professor says there is evidence that it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Kathryn Harrison, a political science professor at UBC, says since B.C. implemented its carbon tax 10 years before the federal tax was rolled out, researchers were able to look at whether B.C.’s emissions changed following the policy. …“There have been, by my count, about 15 studies that found that B.C.’s Carbon Tax lowered emissions below what it otherwise would have been, didn’t hurt the economy, was fair, but what we also know is that we can’t get the kind of emissions reductions that we’re committed to at $30 a tonne that’s why we need that steadily increasing price schedule.” A 2023 article looking at studies on B.C.’s carbon tax say research indicates that the policy has been a success.

Read More

Government of Canada investing $758,150 in Indigenous economic development

By Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
Government of Canada
May 14, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada East

Thunder Bay, Ontario — The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North, today announced a FedNor investment of $758,150 in the bioeconomy centre of Whitesand First Nation. The FedNor funds will support Whitesand First Nation’s new community-owned bioeconomy centre, which includes Sagatay Cogeneration Ltd., Sagatay Wood Pellets, and Sagatay Wood Merchandising Yard. More specifically, the investment will enable the construction and operation of biomass-fueled combined heat and power facility, a wood pellet plant, and a wood merchandising yard. In addition to generating electricity for Whitesand First Nation and nearby communities, this investment will support the creation of more than ten new jobs while fostering new business opportunities and potential partnerships.

Read More

Irving says proposed wind farm could cut provincial emissions by 9%

By Andrew Bates
The Telegraph-Journal in Yahoo! News
May 8, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada East

NEW BRUNSWICK — A wind farm in Carleton County proposed by J.D. Irving could cut New Brunswick’s greenhouse gas emissions by 9% when it’s up and running. The province’s ministry of environment and local government is reviewing a proposal from JDI for a 58-turbine wind farm 20 kilometres east of Hartland. The Brighton Mountain Wind Farm project would be built in two sections on JDI-owned forestry land. The project would be JDI’s first wind farm built as a developer, and would have a total capacity of 350 megawatts when installed, which it would sell to the NB Power grid. JDI says it wants to insulate itself against shifting energy prices and reduce emissions from the Irving forest supply chain, including pulp production, which it says is one of the chain’s “major contributors” to emissions due to high energy consumption. “This new wind project will support maintaining the carbon neutrality of our company’s forest supply chain,” JDI’s Anne McInerney, said.

Read More

Canada Releases Report Showing the Impacts of Climate Change and Necessity of Indigenous-Led Adaptation

Natural Resources Canada
May 7, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada East

OTTAWA — The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced the release of the For Our Future: Indigenous Resilience Report, the first Indigenous-led report that draws on Indigenous knowledge, perspectives and experiences to explore multidimensional and intersecting aspects of climate change impacts and adaptation. The report is part of Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action, Canada’sNational Knowledge Assessment of how and why Canada’s climate is changing, the impacts of these changes and how we are adapting. This report highlights the unique strengths and challenges of First Nations, Inuit and Métis in responding to climate change; the importance of the inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge Systems in all levels of climate action; that climate change is one of the many crises that First Nations, Inuit and Métis face; and how Indigenous-led climate action is critical for self-determination.

Read More

US Forest Service Funds Bioenergy, Pellet And Biochar Projects

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
May 14, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The USDA’s Forest Service on May 14 awarded nearly $74 million to 171 projects through two grant programs that aim to create new markets for wood products and renewable energy from wood, and increase the capacity of wood processing facilities. The awards, made through the Wood Innovations Grant, Community Wood Grant, and Wood Products Infrastructure Assistance Grant Programs, support projects to increase demand and create new and innovative uses for sustainably sourced wood. A sample of 21 Awards include:

  • $170,000 to support a biomass district heating project in Nenana, Alaska
  • $300,000 for hydrogen to methanol by Bluestone Renewables in Arizona
  •  $300,000 awarded to Lignetics to support packaging line upgrades in Arizona
  •  $296,000 awarded to G.C. Forest Products to a support pellet mill in California
  •  $187,500 awarded to Growpro Inc. for a biochar project in California

Read More

La Nina is on its way back. An atmospheric scientist explains what to expect

By Pedro DiNezio
PBS NewsHour
May 12, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

One of the big contributors to the record-breaking global temperatures over the past year – El Nino – is nearly gone, and its opposite, La Nina, is on the way. Whether that’s a relief or not depends in part on where you live. Above-normal temperatures are still forecast across the U.S. in summer 2024. And if you live along the U.S. Atlantic or Gulf coasts, La Nina can contribute to the worst possible combination of climate conditions for fueling hurricanes. …This year, forecasters expect a fast transition to La Nina – likely by late summer. After a strong El Nino, like the world saw in late 2023 and early 2024, conditions tend to swing fairly quickly to La Nina. How long it will stick around is an open question. This cycle tends to swing from extreme to extreme every three to seven years on average, but while El Ninos tend to be short-lived, La Ninas can last two years or longer.

Read More

Fewer Americans see climate change as very serious problem

By Sarah Fortinsky
The Hill
May 6, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Fewer Americans today see climate change as a “very serious” problem than they did three years ago, according to a survey released Monday. The Monmouth University poll shows a 10-point decline in Americans who says climate change is a “very serious” problem, falling from 56% in September. The decline was less steep overall – with 66% ascribing climate change as a problem that’s either “very serious” or “somewhat serious.” That’s down from 2021, when 70% of respondents described the climate change problem as either “very serious” or “somewhat serious.” Patrick Murray, director of the Polling Institute, attributed this trend to a decline in urgency among Americans. “Most Americans continue to believe climate change is real. The difference in these latest poll results is a decline in a sense of urgency around this issue,” Murray said. The decline in urgency can be seen most acutely among young people.

Read More

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service announces milestones in climate action

By the Forest Service
US Department of Agriculture
May 3, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service released new data today that shows how the agency has made progress in mitigating the impacts of climate change. Published in the Forest Service Climate Action Tracker, it represents a significant milestone in the agency’s efforts to keep forests healthy. The agency is also updating its directives to clarify that Indigenous Knowledge can be considered as best-available science in land management decisions that guide forest management, restoration, and climate resilience actions. …The Climate Action Tracker includes nationwide data and shows how the Forest Service has reached goals from its Climate Adaptation Plan for increasing the amount of climate vulnerability information in its environmental analyses. …Secretary Vilsack also directed the Forest Service to review policies for agency work that involves water, wildlife, wood product innovation, outdoor recreation, and more — with a focus on climate. 

Read More

USDA: US Wood Pellet Exports Top 938,662 Metric Tons In March

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
May 2, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The U.S. exported 938,662.3 metric tons of wood pellets in March, up from 696,692.9 metric tons in February and 909,787.1 metric tons in March of last year, according to data released by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service on May 2. The U.S. exported wood pellets to approximately 18 countries in March. The U.K. was the top destination for U.S. wood pellet exports at 554,934.5 metric tons, followed by the Netherlands at 129,622 metric tons, Denmark at 94,706 metric tons, Japan at 76,995.4 metric tons, the French West Indies at 50,000 metric tons and Belgium-Luxembourg at 29,436.4 metric tons. 

Read More

‘Uncharted territory’: El Niño to flip to La Niña in what could be the hottest year on record

By Stephanie Pappas
Live Science
April 20, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

El Niño is likely to give way soon, ushering in a quick switch to its opposite atmospheric and ocean pattern, La Niña. For the U.S., this climatological flip-flop will likely mean a greater risk of major hurricanes in the Atlantic as well as areas of drier-than-usual weather in the southern portions of the country. Globally, La Niña usually leads to declining temperatures, but the lag in when the effects take place means that 2024 will likely still be a top-five year for temperature in climate history, said Tom Di Liberto, a climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “2024 is going to be another warm year,” Di Liberto said.  …All of these climatic patterns are taking place against a backdrop of rising ocean and surface temperatures. So, while La Niña usually brings cooler-than-average temperatures to the northern U.S., this region could still experience a scorching summer due to the background effects of climate change. 

Read More

The science behind forest carbon credits is sound, finds new study

By Oliver Gordon
Energy Monitor
April 18, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Forest-based carbon credits have had a rough couple of years. Numerous academic studies and media investigations have unearthed vastly inflated carbon savings and failed safeguards for forest communities amongst the world’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) projects, which boast a quarter of all carbon credits to date. However, a new peer-reviewed Nature study by 27 researchers across 11 institutions including the Environmental Defence Fund (EDF), the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the University of Columbia, has backed the industry’s scientific credentials: out of all the world’s nature-based climate solutions, the paper found that the four leading forest-based solutions have robust scientific foundations, while the others need urgent additional research before their role as a climate solution is understood. The study explicitly looked at the scientific basis of, and expert confidence in, the world’s known nature-based solutions (NBSs); rather than the implementation of individual projects, carbon crediting methodologies or co-benefits.

Read More

The multimillion-dollar fight over Washington state’s cap-and-invest program

By John Strang
Cascade PBS
May 3, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON — Bolstered by an almost $5 million war chest, supporters of Washington’s cap-and-invest program have begun their efforts to keep the state’s carbon pricing system, which is facing a November recall referendum. …The coalition hoping to repeal the state’s new cap-and-invest program, Let’s Go Washington, has raised just over $8 million so far, but most of that came as $5 million in loans from the instigator of the initiative. …The cap-and-invest program has already brought about $2 billion into the state budget, mostly to support climate change mitigation, health and construction programs. During this year’s legislative session, lawmakers allocated more than $800 million of those dollars to do things like buy electric school and transit buses, install electric vehicle charging stations, support salmon recovery and coastline restoration, buy forest land and restore landscapes destroyed by wildfires. If the initiative passes, that new source of cash would dry up.

Read More

UK’s Drax targets California forests for two major wood pellet plants

By Justin Catanoso
Mongabay
May 6, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

CALIFORNIA — Golden State Natural Resources (GSNR), a California state-funded nonprofit focused on rural economic development, along with the UK’s Drax, have signed an agreement to move ahead on a California project to build two of the biggest wood pellet mills in the US. The mills, if approved by the state, would produce 1 million tons of pellets for export annually to Japan and South Korea. The pellet mills would represent a major expansion of U.S. biomass production outside the U.S. Southeast, where most pellet making has been centered. GSNR promotes the pellet mills as providing jobs, preventing wildfires and reducing carbon emissions. California forest advocates say that cutting trees to make pellets —partly within eight national forests — will achieve none of those goals. 

Related coverage: GSNR is taking steps to advance its proposed project that would improve the resiliency of California’s forestlands

Read More

Appeals court rejects climate change lawsuit by young Oregon activists against US government

By Gene Johnson
Associated Press in the Oregon Public Broadcasting
May 2, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

OREGON — The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals previously ordered the case dismissed in 2020, saying that the job of determining the nation’s climate policies should fall to politicians, not judges. But U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene, Oregon, instead allowed the activists to amend their lawsuit and last year ruled the case could go to trial. Acting on a request from the Biden administration, a three-judge 9th Circuit panel issued an order requiring Aiken to dismiss the case, and she did. Julia Olson, an attorney with Our Children’s Trust, the nonprofit law firm representing the activists, said they were considering asking the 9th Circuit to rehear the matter with a larger slate of judges. …The 21 plaintiffs, who were between the ages of 8 and 18 at the time, said they have a constitutional right to a climate that sustains life.

Read More

Washington court ruling clears way for carbon storage projects on state logging lands

By Laurel Demkovich
News From The States
April 16, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Forests on Washington’s public logging lands can be left uncut if the state finds that leaving trees standing to fight climate change is a better use than timber sales, a state judge ruled earlier this month. Two years ago, the Department of Natural Resources proposed a project to lease 10,000 acres of state land for carbon capture projects, prompting a lawsuit from Lewis and Skagit counties and a forestry industry trade group. The two counties and the American Forest Resource Council argued that the state did not do a proper environmental analysis of the project, including what it could mean financially for schools and communities that rely on timber revenue. But earlier this month, a Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled in the agency’s favor, saying the state can manage its lands as it sees fit – not specifically for logging – and that the department did comply with environmental review requirements. 

Read More

My Turn: Modern wood heat not carbon bogeyman

Letter by Chris Egan, Massachusetts Forest Alliance
The Greenfield Recorder
May 1, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

Massachusetts — I’m writing in response to Katy Eiseman’s recent column, “Must stop subsidizing wood-fired energy”. We’re concerned that readers may have walked away with a misunderstanding of the issue. “Modern wood heat” is the only wood heat that is part of the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard and can earn Alternative Energy Credits. Modern wood heat comes from ultra-modern systems that replace your oil boiler or gas furnace, heat your entire home, and are fueled by pellets or wood chips that are bulk-delivered, not in bags. …Ms. Eiseman and her organization, the Partnership for Policy Integrity, are typically cagey when talking about the carbon impact of modern wood heat. …If you’re complaining about incentivizing pellet boilers because of air pollution and you have a 20-year-old oil boiler in your basement, you’re likely producing more (and more dangerous) particulates than your neighbor who switched to a pellet boiler.

Read More

How hurricanes threaten forests — and the carbon markets that depend on them

By Saul Elbein
The Hill
April 24, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

A single hurricane barreling into New England forests can undo decades of carbon storage, a new study has found. As worsening storms with higher-speed winds are reaching ever deeper into the region’s woodlands, according to findings published on Wednesday in Global Change Biology. Now, just one big storm can knock down as many as 10 percent of standing trees in the heavily forested region. Small increases in wind speed led to exponential increases in damage, the researchers found. An 8%  increase drove up the number of high-destruction areas by more than 10 times; a 16% increase by more than 25 times. The findings spell trouble for forest carbon markets, which aim to sell “credits” generated by storing carbon from the atmosphere in the growing bodies of trees. ..There is a lot of controversy over whether carbon offsets truly reduce emissions. But any version of carbon offset schemes… requires the trees to keep standing.

Read More

Top brands buy Amazon carbon credits from suspected timber laundering scam

By Fernanda Wenzel
Mongabay
May 21, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Two major carbon offset projects in the Brazilian Amazon, whose credits have been sold to companies like GOL Airlines, Nestlé, Toshiba and PwC, may have been used to launder timber from illegally deforested areas. The conclusion comes from an analysis by the Center for Climate Crime Analysis (CCCA), a Netherlands-based nonprofit founded by prosecutors and investigators that investigates emitters of climate-warming greenhouse gases. Brazilian authorities had already launched timber laundering probes in the areas covered by CCCA’s analysis, which resulted in the suspension of logging authorizations. The owner of a company responsible for one of these projects has a prior conviction for timber laundering. CCCA made the analysis at Mongabay’s request after an anonymous source highlighted the participation of people convicted of timber laundering in the projects.

Read More

Hot history: Tree rings show that last northern summer was the warmest since year 1 (of the Gregorian calendar)

By Seth Borenstein
Associated Press in CTV News
May 14, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The broiling summer of 2023 was the hottest in the Northern Hemisphere in more than 2,000 years, a new study found. When the temperatures spiked last year, numerous weather agencies said it was the hottest month, summer and year on record. But those records only go back to 1850 at best because it’s based on thermometers. Now scientists can go back to the modern western calendar’s year one …but have found no hotter northern summer than last year’s. The study uses a well-established method and record of more than 10,000 tree rings to calculate summertime temperatures for each year since the year 1. Looking at the temperature records, especially the last 150 years, lead author Jan Esper noticed that while they are generally increasing, they tend to do so with slow rises and then giant steps, like what happened last year. He said those steps are often associated with a natural El Nino…

Read More

MOU agreed to develop ‘bioship’ technology and plans to construct the world’s first biomass-fuelled ship

Drax Group Inc.
May 14, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Leading Japanese companies, NYK Line, NYK Bulk & Projects Carriers, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and British renewable energy business, Drax Group, have signed a new memorandum of understanding to develop both the world’s first biomass-fuelled ship (bioship) and the technology that could power it. Biomass is playing a growing role in Japan’s transition from fossil fuel power generation to low carbon and renewable electricity, and the country’s demand for biomass pellets, sourced primarily from North America and composed of sawmill and forestry residues, is increasing. Drax produces biomass pellets in both the US South and Canada. The company has a longstanding relationship with NBP which transports its pellets to Japan. …The installation of a biomass fuel plant could see a 22% reduction in well-to-wake carbon emissions in bioships when compared to using fossil fuels.

Read More

Corporate climate watchdog document deems carbon offsets largely ineffective

By Virginia Furness
Reuters
May 9, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

LONDON – Staff at an influential corporate climate action group whose board announced a plan to allow companies to offset greenhouse gas emissions from their supply chain with carbon credits has now found such offsets are largely ineffective, a confidential preliminary draft shows. At stake is the growth of the still nascent market for voluntary carbon offsets. …The Science-based Targets initiative (SBTi), a U.N.-backed nonprofit that audits the emission reduction plans of companies, triggered a revolt among staff last month by declaring its intention to allow use of carbon credits prior to concluding its research. Since then, the SBTi’s board of trustees said that any decisions would be “informed by the evidence”. …Many of the SBTi’s financial backers are pushing for adoption. They argue offsets are needed to spur more investment in clean energy and meet a global pledge to reduce emissions to zero on a net basis by 2050.

Read More

Scientists Warn against Treating Forests as Carbon Commodities

By Chelsea Harvey & E&E News
Scientific American
May 7, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Growing alarm over climate change has pushed world leaders in recent years to see Earth’s forests as a critical resource in the fight against global warming. But the newfound attention might not always be a good thing. The focus on forests and their value as carbon sinks could be contributing to an increase in global inequalities and create too much reliance on market-based solutions, such as carbon offsets. The warning was included in a new report from the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, a nonprofit network of forest scientists. Published Monday, the report provides a scientific review of recent trends in global forest governance….But focusing entirely on their carbon value could risk neglecting the other benefits that forests provide, such as their cultural importance to Indigenous communities. …In addition, forest carbon markets can shut local communities out of forest management discussions in their home regions.

Read More

Offset Schemes Failing to Benefit Forest Communities, Report Finds

Yale Environment 360
May 7, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Increasingly, businesses are writing off their carbon emissions by funding the conservation of forests. A new report finds that while such schemes have made “limited” progress in curbing deforestation, they have largely failed to alleviate poverty in forest communities. “We are too late on in the game to use win-win narratives,” said Daniela Kleinschmit of Freiburg University, a lead author of the report. Published by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations and presented this week at a U.N. meeting on forest loss, the report looked at both carbon offset programs and programs that certify goods as not contributing to deforestation. It found that such schemes frequently operate at the expense of forest dwellers. Forest communities often see no income from offset schemes and are sometimes forcibly evicted from their lands in the name of protecting forests, the report said.

Read More

Stockholm Exergi announces permanent carbon removal agreement with Microsoft, world’s largest to date

By Stockholm Exergi and Microsoft
Cision Newswire
May 6, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

STOCKHOLM — Stockholm Exergi today announced that it has signed a contract with Microsoft covering 3.33 million tonnes of permanent carbon removals from bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) at Värtan, Stockholm. The agreement represents the world’s largest permanent removals deal to date. The deliveries of the carbon removal certificates to Microsoft are planned to start in 2028 and continue for a period of ten years. “The agreement with Microsoft is a huge step forward for our BECCS project, Stockholm Exergi as a company and the climate. It is the strongest possible recognition of the significance, quality and sustainability of our project and takes us an important step closer to a final investment decision in Q4 2024. I believe the agreement will inspire corporations with ambitious climate objectives, and we target to announce more deals with other pioneering companies over the coming months,” says Anders Egelrud, CEO of Stockholm Exergi.

Read More

World’s Largest Forestry Offsets Project Has License Revoked

By Sheryl Tian Tong Lee
BNN Bloomberg
April 30, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The future of one of the world’s largest carbon offsets projects is in doubt, after the Indonesian government revoked its license for violating local regulations. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s action covers more than 36,000 hectares on the island of Borneo. The area is part of a project that has issued more than 30 million credits since 2013, according to data from non-profit CarbonPlan. The government cited the license-holder, PT Rimba Raya Conservation, for three offenses: The company transferred its license to a third-party without ministry approval, operated beyond its sanctioned area, and failed to make required payments to the state, according to a statement from the ministry in March. Given the project’s scale, the government’s action creates potential consequences for carbon exchanges, traders, and companies that have bought Rimba Raya credits to offset emissions. It also highlights the risks that can be obscured by multiple participants, and the threat of emerging and rapidly changing government regulations.

Read More

SDL Solutions to double wood pellet production

The Timber Trades Journal
April 24, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

UNITED KINGDOM—SDL Solutions has started work on the installation of a high-capacity wood pellet production line and press at its facility in the Cotswolds. The new line will mirror the SDL Pellets existing line, effectively doubling production capacity to enable production of over 60,000 tons of En Plus A1 wood pellets annually. …The company has experienced consistent year-on-year growth since its inception in 2001, which it attributes to its sustainable and innovative foundations. SDL now manages the 360° life cycle of the tree from harvesting to replanting and offers full traceability and carbon tracking of all its projects. …”This investment positions SDL Solutions to meet the rising demand for wood pellets as an environmentally responsible heating choice,” said Sam Launchbury, CEO of SDL Solutions. “We believe the most reliable and environmentally friendly wood pellets are produced within and supplied to the UK, from responsibly managed forests, reducing the demand for imported wood pellets.”

Read More

Ice age climate analysis reduces worst-case warming expected from rising CO₂

By The University of Washington
Phys.Org
April 17, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

As carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere, the Earth will get hotter. But exactly how much warming will result from a certain increase in CO2 is under study. The relationship between CO2 and warming, known as climate sensitivity, determines what future we should expect as CO2 levels continue to climb. New research led by the University of Washington analyzes the most recent ice age, when a large swath of North America was covered in ice, to better understand the relationship between CO2 and global temperature. It finds that while most future warming estimates remain unchanged, the absolute worst-case scenario is unlikely. The open-access study was published April 17 in Science Advances. …”This paper allows us to produce more confident predictions because it really brings down the upper end of future warming, and says that the most extreme scenario is less likely,” lead author Vince Cooper, a UW doctoral student in atmospheric sciences said. 

Read More