Using biomass instead of fossil fuels may not be the answer to averting global warming
Policies aimed at limiting climate change by boosting the burning of biomass contain critical flaws that could actually damage attempts to avert dangerous levels of global warming in the future. That is the stark view of one of Britain’s chief climate experts, Professor John Beddington, who has warned that relying on the cutting down and burning of trees as a replacement for the use of fossil fuels could rebound dangerously.
Beddington, a former UK government chief scientific adviser, said there was now a real risk that increasing wood-burning in order to help European countries, including Britain, reach renewable energy targets could turn out to be misguided. “These policies may even lead to a situation whereby global emissions [of carbon dioxide] accelerate,” he states in a blog on Carbon Brief, the UK-based website that covers climate and energy issues. He says wind and solar projects should dominate programmes to boost renewable energy generation in Europe.