Enviva Supports Conclusions from New Report on “The Future of Bioenergy”

Enviva applauds a new report, The Future of Bioenergy, published December 5, 2019 in the Global Change Biology journal and authored by Walter Reid and Mariam Ali of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Christopher Field of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Nations are gathered at COP25, the UN climate change conference in Madrid ahead of the defining year of 2020 when countries will submit new climate action plans, and currently, not enough is being done to meet the Paris climate goals. The world cannot afford to delay taking decisive climate action, and this bioenergy report is an important contribution to help define an ambitious way forward. During a critical time in search of the best solutions to address climate change, Enviva appreciates this thoughtful analysis on bioenergy that helps define the pathways to contain climate change below 1.5°C.

The report makes an important contribution to the dialogue on bioenergy’s role as an energy source into the future, and that pathways to meet our climate goals include a key role for bioenergy. The type of bioenergy we use to meet climate goals is essential, and the report makes an important distinction between “land-intensive bioenergy” (defined as bioenergy from terrestrial plants (e.g. crops, trees, grasses) grown or harvested primarily for energy) and other types of biomass – including sawdust, small trees that can’t be used for lumber, and “good stewardship” wood biomass that is removed from the environment when restoring the health of forests. Enviva fully supports this distinction because our operations source solely from these positive categories, and the report recognizes the important climate benefits that can be realized with the production of energy based our approach to responsibly sourcing biomass from a healthy forest products industry.

Enviva agrees that land must be used as efficiently as possible, and that is why we value our role as an integral part of the forest products industry, sourcing biomass from sustainably managed working forests. We also understand that biomass from restoration has an important role to play in climate mitigation, which is why we have made and continue to make significant investments in restoration activities.

We are glad that attention has been drawn to the importance of bioenergy in the global energy mix, and that there is equal importance placed on land stewardship. Combating climate change requires an all-in solution – urgently – and we seek to be the best stewards possible as we carry out our mission to displace coal and grow more trees.