A coalition of American environmental and forestry groups have accused a company behind plans to source North American wood for biomass power stations in Scotland of ‘greenwash’ in a letter to the Scottish Government.

In an open letter to the Scottish Government, the groups argue that Forth Energy’s proposed plants in Leith, Tayside, Grangemouth and Rosyth would require 3.6m tonnes of wood per year from Florida alone, resulting in serious pressure on US forests.

They also contest Forth Energy’s claim to use certified, sustainable forests. The Scottish plants would have to rely on the American industry-led ‘Sustainable Forestry Initiative’ (SFI) because no exporter in Florida is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council. The SFI scheme was set up by the American Pulp and Paper Association, and the environment groups argue it is fatally flawed.

The letter is signed by signed by Biofuelwatch/Energy Justice Network, Biomass Accountability Project, Center for Biological Diversity, Dogwood Alliance, Friends of the Earth US, and Save Americas Forests.

The letter reads:
“Given the massive quantities of wood – most of which will be imported from our forests – that Forth Energy facilities would burn, the inefficiency of biomass electricity generation, the emerging science indicating that bioelectricity is not necessarily ‘carbon neutral’ or ‘clean’, the human health impacts of emissions, and the unreliability of SFI forest certification schemes – we call on the Scottish Government to reject Forth Energy’s proposed biomass electricity facilities in Scotland.”

Friends of the Earth spokesperson Francis Stuart said: “We already know that Forth Energy’s proposals don’t stack up in the Scottish context because they plan to burn wood in an incredibly inefficient manner, for electricity rather than heat. This new evidence from across the Atlantic simply compounds the case against these damaging developments.”

ENDS

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Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

The open letter signed by Biofuelwatch/Energy Justice Network, Biomass Accountability Project, Center for Biological Diversity, Dogwood Alliance, Friends of the Earth US, and Save Americas Forests can be downloaded from here: www.foe-scotland.org.uk/biomass-us-objection

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