Global deforestation continues on its frantic course. Half of the forests are found in just five countries: Brazil, Canada, China, the United States and Russia. The latest report from FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, reports a critical state of forests around the world. On October 22, 2020, the European Parliament voted to put in place a legal framework to put an end to European imports responsible for 10% of deforestation in the world. Intensive productive agriculture is one of the main causes of forest destruction: Meat, dairy products, soybeans, rubber, palm oil: so many foods consumed daily for millions of Europeans are produced to the detriment of forest ecosystems .
While the ecological transitionis underway in Europe, as scientists keep warning us about climate change, deforestation, the pollution of our oceans, and NGOs are fighting every day to denounce disrespectful practices towards our ecosystem , our governments are at odds with the measures that should be adopted in the face of the ever growing market for the exploitation of European forests, which are not spared by this phenomenon.
The market for wood pellets, also called pellets, of which Europe is the world leader, is constantly growing. Germany is at the top of the podium, followed by Sweden and France. Pellets are used either to generate heat or to generate electricity. Its use is mainly done in 3 distinct areas, namely:
Collective and industrial heating, via boiler rooms or cogeneration,
Electricity production in cogeneration or for power stations.
The European “green pact” unveiled with great fanfare in December 2019 will have marked the spirits as its objective is so ambitious: to achieve carbon neutrality to make Europe the first continent neutral for the climate by 2050. Neutrality mentioned in the Paris agreementto contain global warming below 2 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels. The current President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen wishes to go further by proposing a reduction in gas emissions to 55% by 2030 compared to 1990, against 40% initially.
We firmly believe in it, and this means that the European Union's GHG emissions must be low enough to be absorbed by natural carbon sinks such as oceans and forests , but also by new technologies that allow them to be absorbed artificially. . A new business sector is emerging: climatech.
The strategy of the European Commission, entitled " A wave of renovation for Europe - greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving the quality of life", aims to double the rate of energy renovation by 2030. The aim is to reduce energy consumption by combating, among other things, energy poverty in order to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable people. But also to help reduce their energy bills to reduce GHG emissions. The project is to help 34 million Europeans who are unable to heat their homes properly.
As a result, Europe is not spared either by deforestation and the industrial felling of millions of trees, victims of clear cuts in areas of wooded areas in which all biodiversity is eradicated. Industrialists ransack entire forests to extract young and hundred-year-old trunks for commercial purposes without worrying about the dramatic consequences they are inflicting on our planet and this carbon sink.
Despite the good European intentions, actions are sometimes antagonistic in certain sectors of activity, in particular in that of the wood industry. Indeed, the energy reduction of the Europeans implies a good insulation of the habitats but also a replacement of fuel boilers by pellet boilers which consume a lot of wood.
In this regard, surveys carried out by citizens concerned about the future of the planet have just highlighted aberrations on French territory. In his new episode of “on the Front” broadcast on March 21 at 9:05 pm on France 5, Hugo Clément takes us into this world of fighters who spend their lives protecting forests.
Whole sections of French forests are decimated to be transformed into wood pellets and burned in boilers while being subsidized by the State.
Wood from Brazil is added to French wood. They are intended to replace coal in power plants. According to EASAC (European Academies Science Advisory Council), wood pellets release more carbon than coal per unit of electricity produced.
Forest biomass is only renewable when the forests are allowed time to rebuild themselves so that they can play their role, after a maturity that will not be completed before its 50 years of age.
And finally, the most beautiful trunks from ancient French forests will be exported, by boat, to Asian countries, including China, to manufacture parquet floors or furniture which will then return, by boat, to supply industrialized countries.
Therefore, one could reasonably doubt the effectiveness of the measures taken by governments and their willingness to really want to achieve the objective of carbon neutrality by 2050. Yet time is running out.
Faced with constantly increasing trade, laws are being put in place to try to regulate this trade which only increases our GHG emissions. Thus on March 10, 2021, the European Parliament voted for a resolution on the future carbon border adjustment mechanism, the entry into force of which is scheduled for 2023. This result aims to tax foreign companies exporting to the territory. European. Imports represent 20% of the EU's GHG emissions.
At the same time, the European Council plans to allocate more than 400 billion euros to the preservation of natural resources and the environment for the period 2021-2027. Certain forests thus decimated are allocated budgets and are again exploited by foresters who replant often all identical varieties of trees, with a view to future exploitation. The Douglas trees, a species of trees from North America, are unable to cope with insect attacks, strong winds and drought. It takes decades for a forest to rebuild itself by giving birth to different varieties of species that allow them to naturally fight against different types of attacks. Today, we see rows of trees appearing in which biodiversity does not even have time to develop. They are no longer forests but just rows of trunks.
The most serious thing in all of this is that beyond the massive destruction of our forests, the report by Hugo Clément shows us that wood pellets are sold under the sustainable development label when there is none. is nothing for most of them. The members of the Canopée association have provided proof of these aberrant practices.
We support all these citizens who fight to denounce actions that go against common sense. Their actions are essential. They help keep consumers informed and most of all, they alert us to all the lies that surround us.