Science & Analysis

Peer-reviewed science and transparent analysis is at the core of all PFPI’s work, as evidenced by our extensively documented research reports.

We specialize in translating science to inform advocacy, but we also participate directly in the “doing” and discussion of science on bioenergy, GHG emissions, and climate. This is particularly important in the field of bioenergy because the science has become so contested.

IPCC Reports

Mary Booth served as an external reviewer on both the “1.5” and “Lands” reports of the IPCC. Prior to the 1.5 report, she published a peer-reviewed paper on the GHG impacts of burning forestry residues, debunking the idea this is a low carbon fuel and proposing a metric for counting bioenergy emissions. While bioenergy is treated as zero emissions in the energy sector due to IPCC protocol that sets the rules for international GHG reporting, PFPI provided substantive critique of the revision of this protocol, leading to clarifications in the report text that better explain the deficits of this system. In a major development, the IPCC included a model pathway in its 1.5 report, which PFPI has dubbed “the Green Path,” that drastically scales back bioenergy use.

Forest Research

PFPI collaborates on a research project with scientists at Griffith University in Australia focusing on northern and boreal forests of the world, and contributes to colleagues’ work on that project.

Climate Conferences

PFPI regularly attends UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conferences and works throughout the year with colleagues at the Climate, Land-use, Ambition and Rights Alliance (CLARA), which is a recognized representative of civil society at the UNFCCC, to create robust, defensible positions on the role of the land sector in climate mitigation. PFPI is also a member of the U.S. Climate Action Network (USCAN) and participated in developing the network’s Vision for Equitable Climate Action.

PFPI Reports and Analysis

See the “Resources” section for links to PFPI’s reports and analysis.

EU climate, nature and air quality goals are in jeopardy because of wood-burning for energy, new study shows

Climate-critical land carbon sink is rapidly declining, while harvesting and burning wood for biomass energy continues to grow

Air Pollution, All posts, Carbon emissions, European Policy, Featured, International, Science/Analysis, Slider content, Subsidies

Higher Ed Partnerships with Energy Co’s Lock in Decades of High Emissions, Greenwash

Campuses are outsourcing energy planning to private companies pushing biomass and natural gas as clean and green

Air Pollution, All posts, Carbon emissions, Science/Analysis

The scammy, whammy world of the “bioeconomy” – a warning to regulators on National Bioenergy Day

The feds at the OSTP want input on the bioeconomy. Boy are there some stories to tell… because the biomass energy and bioeconomy sectors seem especially prone to fraud.

All posts, Science/Analysis

New report reveals negative community and financial impacts of bioenergy boom

The elite group of plants receiving hundreds of millions in taxpayer handouts had cost overruns, air and water violations, early closures, and lawsuits.

Air Pollution, All posts, Biomass basics, Reports, Science/Analysis, Slider content, Subsidies, US Federal Policy, US Work

The IPCC’s Recipe for a Livable Planet: Grow Trees, Don’t Burn Them

Only one pathway avoids dangerous temperature rise without relying on unscalable and unproven technologies.

All posts, Biomass basics, Carbon emissions, Forests, Science/Analysis

New Study: Biomass Energy Has Big Climate Impact Even Under Best Case Scenario

Burning wood for power undermines efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions, even under industry best-case scenarios.

All posts, Biomass basics, Carbon emissions, Reports, Science/Analysis

Bloomberg-backed Corporate Reporting Standards Likely to Perpetuate Myths that Bioenergy is Clean, Carbon-Neutral

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Disclosure Rules Should be Improved so that Companies Do Not Mislead Investors

All posts, Bioenergy finance, Biomass basics, Carbon emissions, Science/Analysis

Massachusetts tops New England in air pollution from wood burning

Why is the State of Massachusetts offering incentives for wood heating when wood burners are already a major source of air pollution in Massachusetts?

Air Pollution, All posts, Biomass basics, Massachusetts, Science/Analysis

DOE’s “Billion Ton” Biomass Report – We read it so you wouldn’t have to

Despite requiring clearcutting of millions of forest acres per year, the Department of Energy declines to assess carbon pollution impacts from a biofueled economy.

All posts, Biomass basics, Carbon emissions, Forests, International, Science/Analysis

Climate reality check…

Recent federal legislation has directed the Environmental Protection Agency to treat biomass energy as carbon neutral.

Science/Analysis