The first chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby outside the US and Canada
We propose a true Carbon Fee & Dividend, i.e. a rising fee on all kinds of fuels that disrupt the climate - fossil fuels as well as biofuels. We also propose distributing the revenues from the amassed fee in equal dividends to all citizens, but with a special supplement for sparsely populated areas. Our full proposal is here.
Sweden has already to a large extent phased out the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation and district heating. So in a way we are far ahead of the US, Canada and the rest of the EU in this respect. This has given us a clear view of what may follow after fossil fuels. Most of our Swedish energy for district heating is today supplied by burning of wood and waste, considered to have zero emissions - when they in fact emit more CO2 than coal per MWh.
Furthermore, according to official statistics: outside the EU's Emissions Trading System, one third of our domestic Swedish emissions come from road transportation. Now Sweden has adopted a policy to phase out much of the fossil fuels consumed by road transports by substituting a large proportion of the fossil fuels with biofuels. To meet the large demand, the idea is to use biofuels extracted from woody biomass from Swedish forests.
As we have witnessed this harmful development towards biofuels in our own country, Klimatsvaret - CCL Sweden is convinced that a rising fee only on fossil fuels in Europe is not enough and this would lead to a rising consumption of biofuels – despite the fact that biofuels produce even more carbon dioxide emissions than fossil fuels.
The EU is causing severe damage to the climate, due not only to unambitious goals but also to its flawed policy on biofuels. The film Burned illustrates how American forests are exported to the EU as wood pellets.
Dire warnings 800 scientists expressed their concern about the EU forest policy in a letter to the European Parliament in 2018. Download their letter as a PDF-file here.
Bill McKibben, leader of 350.org, explains the arguments convincingly in this article.
The Swedish forestry model
The cunning lobbying by the Swedish forestry industry and the devastating effects on Swedish forests are thoroughly described in More of Everything, a new Swedish film:
More bad signs
"Between the period of 2011-15 and that of 2016-18, ‘harvested’ forest area ... increased by nearly 50%, from 0.76 million hectares to 1.13 million hectares.
Subsidies for biomass energy among the 27 EU states increased 143 % between 2008 and 2018.
"Biomass only exists at the scale that it does because of subsidies,” says Duncan Brack, associate fellow at the London-based thinktank Chatham House. “We’re effectively paying to increase carbon emissions in the atmosphere, which is an absurd use of public money.” The Guardian: Carbon-neutrality is a fairy tale.
Professor Bengt-Gunnar Jonsson explains in a Swedish video that the forest products industry each year raises the carbon content in the atmosphere by 128 MtCO2, compared to the total emissions of 51 MtCO2 from all citizens and all other Swedish industries. Read more.
From Poland If Poland were to burn all its forests, it would produce enough energy to meet Poland's demand for not even 10 months. Calculations by Piotr Podsiadły are found here.