Dismay over Government’s rejection of inquiry recommendation to stop burning native forests for electricity.
Conservation groups are dismayed by the NSW Government’s rejection of the recommendations of the parliamentary inquiry 'to prevent the burning of wood from native forests to generate energy' and exclude its being classed as renewable energy.
Contrary to the Government’s claims of moving to net zero carbon and doubling Koala populations, burning native forests for electricity puts us and Koalas on an extinction trajectory, said North East Forest Alliance spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
The recent NSW parliamentary inquiry into ‘Sustainability of energy supply and resources in New South Wales’ found the burning of forest biomass for power generation is “not economically or environmentally sustainable, and it generates significant carbon emissions”, recommending “the government takes steps to declassify forest biomass as a form of renewable energy and ensure it's not eligible for renewable energy credits”.
Forests are the lungs of the earth. They play a vital role in sequestering and storing carbon. Carbon storage has been significantly diminished in vast areas of NSW’s forests due to logging. As trees grow their carbon storage increases. By simply stopping logging of regrowth forests will allow trees to mature and increase their carbon storage. (See: Sequestering and Storing Carbon in Forests)
Protecting degraded forests is part of the solution to climate change, continued logging is part of the problem. Allowing regrowth forests to mature will avoid significant releases of CO2 and allow carbon to be sequestered and stored in the tree trunks and soils of the regenerating forests. The regenerating forests will continue to store carbon in ever increasing volumes as they mature over decades and centuries.
Climate change represents a significant environmental, economic and social cost to the people of NSW. Increasing carbon storage in forests and avoiding emissions represents a significant economic benefit to all people in NSW.