Empower Plants

Empower Plants is a short film about the use of forest biomass for bioenergy production and is made timely by a January 2018 vote by the European Parliament to extend and expand their Renewable Energy Directive (RED) to 2030. The film was supported financially by the Princeton Environmental Institute.

The film features interviews with two Princeton professors, Tim Searchinger and Steve Pacala. Searchinger, a lawyer by training, is a research scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and has been an influential figure in scientific discussions of the impacts of biofuel and bioenergy policy. Pacala, Petrie Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has dedicated his career to advancing our understanding of the forces that shape forest dynamics globally, including the role they play in the global carbon cycle.

For more information about the use of woody biomass for energy production, see the report Pulp Fiction from the environmental think tank Climate Central and this article by journalist Fred Pearce.

Are you a scientist concerned with the implications of the policies explored in this film? Consider adding your name to this letter by a number of prominent scientists and economists (full text with the first 796 signatories reproduced below), which closely tracks an opinion piece published in The Guardian.

Do you live in the EU? Find your representative here and tell them to only count forest biomass wastes and residues under the Renewable Energy Directive.

Help spread the word! #EmpowerPlants

Scientist Letter on EU Forest Biomass (796 Signatories as of January 16 2018)