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.

Risible RISI: Why the Biomass Industry’s Carbon Arguments Should Make You Spit Out Your Coffee

The biomass industry’s Carbon Ponzi Scheme may fool lawmakers, but it won’t fool the atmosphere

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

Clearcutting forests for biomass to keep aging coal plants operating – the biomass industry’s “Clean Power” plan

It’s time to stop referring to this dirty, environmentally destructive industry as “clean” energy, and start calling it what it is – an obscenity.

All posts, Biomass basics, Carbon emissions, Science/Analysis, US Work

American Lung Association energy policy opposes biomass combustion for heat and power

The American Lung Association does not support biomass combustion for electricity production…and strongly opposes the combustion of wood and other biomass sources at schools and institutions with vulnerable populations.

Air Pollution, All posts, Science/Analysis

BCAP and the fragile economics of biomass harvesting

Farmers are paid $80 – $85 per ton of corn stover for use as ethanol feedstock, much of that from federal subsidies.

All posts, Science/Analysis, Subsidies, US Work

Biomass power isn’t truly “renewable” if it depends on BCAP subsidies

The dependency of the biomass industry on taxpayer dollars from BCAP demonstrates that biomass energy isn’t even close to being a truly renewable energy source like wind and solar. Once wind and solar infrastructure is in place, the “fuel” is delivered free – forever.

All posts, Science/Analysis, Subsidies, US Work

Carbon neutral? Think again.

The current boom in biomass energy depends entirely on the mutually reinforcing myths of renewability and carbon neutrality. But in practice, biomass energy is far carbon neutral and actually looks a lot more like coal and oil.

All posts, Carbon emissions, Science/Analysis