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Barnett Needs to Rule Out Burning Forests for Energy

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Tags: Biomass, Native Forest Logging, Forests

Cassy O'Connor | Greens Leader

The Tasmanian Liberals should immediately rule out burning native forests for energy generation as part of their bioenergy strategy announced today.

Cynically released under the cover of the border reopening, Guy Barnett’s Bioenergy Vision outlines the potential for over 700,000 tonnes of so-called ‘woody biomass’ to be used in energy generation. This volume would inevitably have to include large quantities directly from Tasmania’s native forests.

This is a reckless ideological step in the fight against climate change.

Bioenergy is not clean energy – far from it. All over the world, bioenergy plants have contributed towards massive deforestation and emissions.

While Minister Barnett’s draft plan says it’s not ‘anticipated’ that native forests will be harvested ‘specifically’ for energy generation, there’s no doubt creating a market for the burning of native forest products will only fuel the insatiable appetite of a persistently mendicant industry.

If the Gutwein Government is serious about climate action it’ll end native forest logging, not accelerate it. 

The Minister’s time would be better spent considering how to make Tasmania a reliable source of top-up renewable energy for the nation that doesn’t involve trashing our brand while accelerating global heating and biodiversity loss.