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Report: Large-scale forest biomass energy not sustainable

Large-scale production could sacrifice forest ecosystem integrity and actually lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions

Source:  Copyright 2012, Summit Voice
Date:  April 19, 2012
Byline:  Bob Berwyn
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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Large-scale use of forest biomass for energy production may be unsustainable and is likely to increase greenhouse gas emissions in the long run, according to a new study.

The research was done by the Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Germany, Oregon State University, and other universities in Switzerland, Austria and France. The work was supported by several agencies in Europe and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The results show that a significant shift to forest biomass energy production would create a ubstantial risk of sacrificing forest integrity and sustainability with no guarantee that it would mitigate climate change,” according to the researchers.

Early assumptions that biomass energy production would be greenhouse-neutral, or even reduce greenhouse emissions “are based on erroneous assumptions,” the researchers said, adding that large-scale biomass energy production would have negative impacts on forest ecosystems, including ...

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