Land shortages an issue for biomass industry

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Land shortages an issue for biomass industry

The damage done to US forests by the production of biomass for energy generation is an example of how some current renewable energy methods are detrimental to the environment.

This is according to a recent opinion piece published in The Ecologist by Steffen Böhm, a Professor in Organisation & Sustainability at the University of Exeter. He pointed out problems with several renewable energy generation methods.

He asserted that land shortage is one of the major issues blighting the renewables industry. He highlighted the so-called 'greenwashing' of the "serious environmental and social side-effects" of existing biomass production schemes.

The article argues that the Paris Agreement doesn't go far enough to help deal with the threat of climate change. He agrees with climate scientist James Hansen who claims that we need to actually remove carbon from the atmosphere rather than just reducing the amount being released through energy generation.

Biomass energy has attracted widespread criticism recently for being particularly damaging as far as carbon emissions go. Burning trees in biomass power plants emits huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, while using sustainably grown trees in more responsible ways, such as in the construction industry, allows timber to keep its carbon locked up for decades.