The climate and biodiversity crises are intertwined. Protecting and restoring forests is key to addressing both.
But EU climate and forest policies have a fatal flaw. Instead of actively protecting forests, EU policies encourage more logging, including for biomass fuel that is burned in power plants and counted as “zero carbon” renewable energy. In reality, burning wood emits more carbon pollution than burning coal, and re-growing trees to offset these emissions takes decades to centuries – time we do not have in the race to combat climate change.
The Campaign for Europe’s Forests. This is a crucial time for EU policymaking on forests and climate, an opportunity to reverse forest degradation and declines in biodiversity. Learn what’s at stake.
The Forest Defenders Alliance is an initiative to amplify the voices of NGOs in Europe and in countries with forests that are threatened by EU policies.
We need to end the EU’s dependence on burning forest wood for renewable energy, which is bad for climate, bad for human health and bad for biodiversity.
The NGO photo library documents forest destruction and air pollution driven by the biomass industry. All images available for download.
The wood pellet industry claims they only use mill and forestry residues for wood pellets. Here’s the film they don’t want you to see.
Beyond ending burning forests for fuel, the EU needs a new vision for forests that protects remnant old-growth and restores more forests to their natural potential.
We’re advancing new forest defender principles we believe should guide EU policy.
Forest Defender Principles: for a forest policy in the EU that reverses collapsing biodiversity, restores ecosystems, and ensures that forests help mitigate climate change.
Current consultations: Your voice is important. EU policymakers say they want to preserve nature and mitigate climate change. Help ensure they follow through by weighing in.
Love forests and want to get more involved? Find out how to weigh in on EU policy on our current consultations page.
News and observations from NGO allies
- Partner update (Germany): ROBIN WOOD’s Campaign Against Wood Burning Power PlantsPowerful protests in Germany as ROBIN WOOD opposes wood-burning biomass in EU coal plants and exposes the “residues” myth and rampant greenwashing by industry.
- Washington Timber Auction Paused in Legacy ForestsControversial timber sale “paused” in Wishbone WA as NGOs sue after Washington Department of Natural Resources fails to look at climate impacts.
- The Nature Restoration Law is essential for the future of forests (and the planet)It’s not complicated, what we need to do for forests. But it won’t be simple either.
- EU policymakers agree on new restrictions on forest biomass in the Renewable Energy DirectiveIn the wake of the IPCC’s most frightening report yet, as we see the collapse of the forest carbon sink due to overlogging for biomass fuel, it’s a no-brainer to slam the brakes on logging forests for renewable energy
- NGOs call on Energy Council to end support for burning forests as renewable energyThe current reform to forest biomass policy supported by the Council will lead to ecosystem and climate collapse
Resources for research and advocacy
How does bioenergy threaten forests and the climate? Why is “sustainable” forestry a false proxy for carbon neutrality? See the references here.
Why are forests important for mitigating climate change? How are climate mitigation and biodiversity linked? Get the answers here.
Organizations work to protect forests all over the world. Find forest defenders in your country and learn how you can support them.