It takes some brazenness to claim that pellets made from clearcut oldgrowth or primary forests are sustainable, but that’s exactly what the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPCA) has been doing. When the European Commission mooted plans for biomass sustainability standards that would exclude such pellets from subsidies, the WPCA warned that this would ruin their members. The Commission has since declared that even their very weak proposed standards are no longer on the table until 2020 at the earliest.
WPCA and their members work closely with coal power station operators across Europe – their key customers. Their members include Pinnacle Pellets, Drax’s main Canadian pellet supplier. WPCA claims that all Canadian pellets are “made from materials that would otherwise be wasted”, but they are working with the government of British Columbia to scale up clearcuts (‘standalone timber harvest’) for pellets. And they are helping to create a big new market for wood from boreal forests from regions where those forests are being destroyed particularly fast, with pine beetle infestation used as a excuse for “free for all” logging.