Press Release - Friends of the Irish Environment -18th Mar 2019
ARE TREES THE NEW COAL? UN International Day of Forests Documentary Release
UN International Day of Forests on Thursday 21 March
A documentary about the burning of wood at an industrial scale for energy is being released today to coincide with UN International Day of Forests.
"BURNED: Are Trees the New Coal?" tells the story of the accelerating destruction of our forests for fuel.
Once considered ‘sustainable’, environmental groups around the world are now campaigning to end the use of forest biomass for fuel, a practice that produces greater CO2 emissions per unit of heat than coal. The film demonstrates how it also removes the very forests that can help us scrub the atmosphere - while damaging air quality and leading to premature deaths worldwide.
Ireland is one of seven countries where environmentalists have brought an action in the European Court of Justice to have forest biomass removed from the definition of renewable fuels. Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Finland, and Slovakia and the United States have also provided plaintiffs. At issue is whether the European Union’s 2018 revised Renewable Energy Directive illegally treats forest biomass as a renewable fuel by not counting CO2 emissions from burning wood fuels.
The EU legal action cites Ireland’s decision to subsidise the life of our three peat powered electricity plants by using 1/3rd biomass as fuel as an example of the damaging effects of the Renewable Energy Directive.
‘That forest biomass is a ‘false climate solution’ is one hard message to get across’, explains Tony Lowes of Friends of the Irish Environment, who represents Ireland in the EU litigation. ‘There is an automatic assumption that trees will regrow and that the fuel is in some way ‘green’. It’s very hard for people to get their head around the fact that the world’s scientists have shown that biomass produces approximately 50 percent more CO2 pollution per unit of energy than coal. It makes no sense to transfer millions of tons of forest carbon directly into the atmosphere right when forest carbon storage is needed most.’
Timed to coincide with the UN International Day of Forests on Thursday 21 March, the 30-minute version of the feature-length film is being promoted by US and international environmental organizations ‘as part of a grassroots campaign to expose the biomass electric power industry’s destructive forest, energy, and climate practices,’ according to the USA producers, Marlboro Productions in Vermont.
For information about the documentary see: www.burnedthemovie.com
For streaming and broadcast information see: https://www.linktv.org/shows/burned-are-trees-the-new-coal
Marlboro Productions, Marlboro, VT
Chris Hardee, Associate Producer
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, cell: 603-762-2010
EU Biomass Legal Case
Mary S. Booth, PhD | Director, Partnership for Policy Integrity | email@example.com
landline: 413-253-3256 | mobile: 917-885-2573 |
EU Biomass Legal Case Ireland
Tony Lowes, Director, Friends of the Irish Environment
Landline: Int +353 (0)27 74771
Int +353 (0)87 2176316