Enviva Publishes Paper, Hosts Webinar

On May 27, 2020, Jennifer Jenkins, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Enviva, and Roger Ballentine, President, Green Strategies, hosted a webinar based on a paper the two published May 6 called Seeing The Forest: Sustainable Wood Bioenergy In The Southeast U.S. The hour and a half long presentation touched on the major topics of the paper, while also including a question and answer portion from participants. The six major themes included the role of biomass in a clean energy portfolio; not all biomass is good/not all biomass is bad; aggregate national-level greenhouse gas inventories fully account for biomass/there is no “loophole”; the net climate impact of biomass sourced from private working forests cannot be properly assessed without consideration of market economics; focus on single tree or stand level accounting do not provide an accurate assessment of net GHG emissions in the near or long term; and, finally, other attributes that must be part of any evaluation of biomass production from U.S. southeast forests.

Jenkins was clear to explain that Enviva supports limiting harvesting use, mainly because some outside of forestry might not understand the full scope of benefits to a working forest, and what exactly pellet wood is considered (the lowest value wood used in industries). She also touched on the important fact that right now forest inventory in the U.S. South has increased while harvests remain steady—pellets accounted for just 2.7% of removals in 2017. And that considering private landowners dominate the forestland of the U.S. south, halting harvests would be problematic and failing to consider that is long term terrible for a variety of factors including local rural economies.

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