Photo: Karl Adami Greenpeace

The production of wood pellets for biomass used in Dutch coal-fired power plants is causing serious damage to forests and biodiversity in Estonia. This does not comply with Dutch sustainability criteria on biomass. The full findings are available in SOMO’s new report, “Wood pellets damage“, commissioned by Greenpeace Netherlands.

publication cover - Wood pellet damage

Wood pellet damage

How Dutch government subsidies for Estonian biomass aggravate the biodiversity and climate crisis

Graanul Invest, a major supplier of biomass to the Netherlands and Europe, is involved in logging old forests with high biodiversity value for its biomass production. These include Natura 2000 areas and forests on peat lands that store a lot of CO2. For example, the company has already cut down old-growth forest that were home to centuries-old pine trees and endangered fungal species.

The researchers also documented clear-cutting in habitats of rare and endangered birds such as the Three-toed woodpecker, the Hazel grouse and the Lesser flycatcher. In addition, culturally important commemorative trees, so-called cross trees, have been felled. Under Dutch sustainability criteria for biomass, this should never have happened, and it cannot be ruled out that wood pellets from this felling were also burned in Dutch power stations