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Global Forest Coalition: FAO's Promotion of Bioenergy Inadvisable
March 20, 2017
The UNFAO’s  “Forests and Energy” theme for this year’s International Day of Forests on March 21  misleadingly promotes bioenergy from burning wood from forests as well as from monoculture tree plantations as “sustainable” energy sources. This promotion by FAO comes despite evidence that bioenergy is increasingly contributing to the destruction of forests, and is no better for the climate than fossil fuels, say a large number of international environmental activist groups in a statement  and letter to FAO  released today.
By calling forests “nature’s power house” , FAO wants to celebrate the use of forests and tree plantations for meeting people’s basic energy needs like cooking or heat, as well as for electricity, industry and potential biofuels for transportation.
FAO conflates both industrial-scale and traditional uses, and perpetuates the myth that industrial bioenergy is renewable and carbon neutral say’s the joint statement.
“The FAO is promoting large scale burning of wood for industries like transportation and aviation, or in converting coal fired plants. Bioenergy today receives lucrative subsidies and climate funding as it is now considered a ‘renewable’ alternative to coal and fossil fuels, but in reality it is not contributing to halting global warming at all,” said Rachel Smolker of Biofuelwatch.