Media Release
John Kaye MLC
Greens NSW MP

S-E NSW biomass power is no solution to climate challenges


Developing wood-fired power stations based on so-called wastes from native forestry in NSW's South-East would weaken Australia's ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.


Dr Kaye who is today visiting the South Coast to talk about energy issues said: “We will be working hard to stop biomass electricity generation from native forestry feed-stocks  being included in renewable energy targets.


“Recent research from the ANU massively increased estimates of carbon locked up in the native forests.


“This moves these biomass power stations from the green side of the ledger to the brown team. They should should sit alongside coal-fired generators as major contributors to global warming.


“In a climate change-constrained world, continued wood-chipping of native forests will inevitably be recognised as an irresponsible and unnecessary release of greenhouse gases.


“Developing power plants based on biomass from these forests would not only create new economic dependencies on a high emission activity. It would   actually increase greenhouse gas emissions. 


“Professor Mackey's research released two weeks ago shows that ending the exploitation of Eastern Australia's native forests and allowing them to regrow would take about 24 per cent of Australia's current annual greenhouse gas emissions out of the atmosphere for each of the next 100 years.


“That would be a massive and welcome 136 million tonnes of CO2 annual contribution to repairing the climate.


“With figures like these there is little hope of generating  sustainable electricity  based on products coming from an industry that is a major emitter.


“Forestry industry propaganda talks about burning wastes to create the impression of sustainability.


“Wood-chips would inevitably end up in the furnaces and  biomass would drive the continued expansion of an unsustainable industry,” Dr Kaye said.


For more information:       John Kaye 0407 195 455

19 August 2008