Media Releases - 28 October 2020

Archaic Thinking: Burning Tasmania’s Native Forests For Energy Emits CO2 & Destroys Habitat

  • Tasmania’s Government push to start biomass industry, on top of already logging them, is bad news for Tassie’s forests at the very time humanity has never needed forests more.
  • Biomass Emits CO2, Is Inherently Inefficient & Destroys Forests Needed For Carbon Sequestration & Habitat
  • Nearly 1,000 International Scientists, Including From UTAS, Signed Letter Rejecting Biomass 

Tasmania’s Gutwein Government is heading in the wrong direction by seeking to fund a new biomass burning industry in Tasmania at the very time the island’s prized Gondwanan forests have never been needed more for carbon sequestration and habitat. 

“Burning Tasmania's precious High Conservation Value (HCV) native forests for electricity in the 21st century, on top of already logging them, represents archaic thinking,” said Tom Allen, Wilderness Society Tasmania campaign manager. 

“This is why nearly 1,000 international scientists, including from UTAS, have signed a letter saying that biomass causes “expansive harm to the world’s forests and the acceleration of climate change”. 

“Burning High Conservation Value native forests for electricity releases CO2 that we need to sequester like never before, and forests - intact, protected and restored - are the best way to do this.

“The IPCC’s Special Land Carbon Report made clear that the two best climate solutions available to humanity are to leave HCV native forests alone and to allow degraded forests to recover. 

“It's an obvious point but solar and wind energy are fuel-less methods of energy transfer, whereas biomass requires a fuel load and for forests to be felled, transported, dried and burned, and it is therefore inherently far less efficient than truly renewable energy. Forests aren’t renewable—nor is electricity produced from burning them.  

“For Tasmania to be the climate leader Premier Gutwein - ‘The Premier for Climate Change’ - claims it is, he simply needs to let forests do what they do best: sequester carbon, provide habitat, make oxygen and clean water and provide amazing places for visitors and residents alike to enjoy,” said Mr Allen. 

For further comment contact Tom Allen, 0434 614 323