SCEN member Dogwood Alliance continues to make waves. Recently, two major North Carolina Newspapers -the Raleigh News & Observer and the Durham Herald Sun- covered the environmental issues that the region is facing as a result of the wood pellet industry. These articles show a continuation of the momentum shift we saw last year when North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality rejected the use of biomass for electricity as a future clean energy source and recognized its harmful climate impacts. There still is a misconception about the wood pellet industry, many think it's a green source of energy, but burning wood can be disastrous for climate change.
When trees are burned, co2 is released into the atmosphere (in this case not only does the burn create emissions but the co2 that was previously stored by trees is also released), with older trees releasing larger amounts of carbon. On the surface, burning wood could be seen as a cleaner source of energy than burning coal, but that would only be the case if waste wood is being used for this purpose and existing forests then recapture the carbon produced. Currently, we are burning and cutting down existing forest to meet wood pellet demands and producing carbon at a faster rate than our forest can absorb. The wood pellet industry continues to increase carbon emissions at every stage of its production phases by logging, processing, and then transporting all these pellets overseas. Even if these companies cared enough to replant forest it would take decades to reach the same carbon absorption capacity as the recently cut forest.
This year, Dogwood Alliance will continue its mission to expand its movement on fighting for forest protection as well as bringing further climate action and environmental justice to North Carolina. This will be accomplished as they continue to push policy makers to turn their statements of acknowledgment and concern into immediate action that will guard the forest in the southeast from the logging industry rather than using it for headline purposes.
As a network we should take Dogwood Alliance’s initiative further and continue to educate our cities by informing them about the wood pellet industry and the truths of its impact. We invite you to visit Dogwood Alliance to learn more about the value of forests and the logging industry in the Southeast so you can also spread the word with your extended network (If you are posting on social media please include the hashtags #StopEnviva and #Stand4Forests).
We applaud Dogwood Alliance for their continued efforts!