Native forest furnaces threaten jobs, forests, climate and endangered species

The changes to the Renewable Energy Target negotiated today between Federal Liberal and Labor are a shameful leap backwards, at a time when action on climate change is urgent. The Federal Government’s obsessive intention to include burning native forests for electricity to gain renewable energy certificates will only mean climate catastrophe, entrenched forest destruction and will send endangered species to extinction, The Bob Brown Foundation said today.

“Native forest furnaces gaining renewable energy certificates will exacerbate climate change, will be at a cost to growing jobs in real renewable energy sectors, a cost to the taxpayer by propping up the native forest logging industry with subsidies and will seriously threaten the survival of forests, threatened and endangered species,” Jenny Weber said. 

“Endangered species like the Lead-beaters possum in Victoria and the Swift Parrot in Tasmania and NSW are losing critical habitat from ongoing native forest logging.  The Australian public will reject electricity produced by burning native species habitat,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said. 

“The Foundation welcomes Federal Labor opposition to the Federal Government’s inclusion of wood waste fuel as a renewable source and implore Federal Labor to stand strong on this position. In an embarrassing move for Tasmania, both the Tasmanian Labor and Liberal parties would rather risk growing jobs in the renewable energy sector, human health, entrench native forest logging and endangered species habitat loss and contribute to a climate crisis by supporting the inclusion of wood waste eligibility for renewable energy certificates,” Jenny Weber said.

“Tasmanian Labor disagreeing with their Federal counterparts on this issue shows ignorance of a declining native forest industry, the climate impacts of burning wood waste, and a desperate attempt to replace an economically and environmentally devastating wood-chipping industry. When Opposition Leader Bryan Green claims that his support for including wood waste within the RET scheme is about ‘small-scale biomass innovation’ he is seeking a polluting smoke screen for entrenching large scale logging of native forests,” Jenny Weber said.

Media contact

Jenny Weber 0427 366 929


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  • Jane Bremmer
    commented 2015-05-13 14:30:41 +1000
    Well done Bob Brown Foundation. We are working hard to stop the inclusion of biomass incineration as a renewable energy source in Australia. It is frustrating that some in the sustainable energy sector have been duped into believing that burning wood waste and other biomass is carbon neutral and are promoting its use as a green energy alternative to fossil fuels. In WA we face a wood waste biomass incinerator just 14kms from the Perth CBD, while long suffering coal communities face the prospect of being replaced with biomass. Incinerators are being heavily pushed into Australia after years of waste policy neglect to create the right environment, veiled as a new innovation. We can’t burn our way out of climate change, but the Libs and other greedy pollies would have us all die trying!
  • Rodney Lloyd
    commented 2015-05-11 19:15:27 +1000
    Governments shuffling sideways instead of embracing change seems to be our lot. Encourage all near Heyfield Victoria to stump up the bucks and attend the Biomass Forum, June 18-19 2015. It is worth listening to the converted? They would not be interested in opposite views, but how else can we stop this unless we engage in dialogue-with the enemy.