A growing proportion of Sweden’s energy is derived from burning biomass (wood), which increases CO2 emissions 65% and 285% more than coal and natural gas energy generation, respectively. And yet because governmental policy – not science – has (wrongly) declared biomass burning “renewable” and “carbon neutral”, Greta Thunberg’s Sweden is falsely credited with reducing its carbon footprint.
Sweden’s CO2 mitigation advocate Greta Thunberg. Image Source: Greta’s Twitter site
In an effort to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel energy, Sweden has rapidly expanded biomass (wood) burning in recent decades (Ericsson and Werner, 2016).
Image Source: Ericsson and Werner, 2016
Biomass burning is heavily subsidized by governments in the developed world, as it is characterized as “renewable” and “carbon neutral”.
Yet scientists continue to vociferously point out that biomass burning is actually worse than coal with regard to CO2 mitigation.
The net effect of switching from coal to biomass burning is to significantly increase CO2 emissions (Norton et al., 2019, Sterman et al., 2018).
Image Source: Norton et al., 2019
Image Source: Sterman et al., 2018
Specifically, biomass burning results in 65% more CO2 emissions than coal and 285% more CO2 emissions than natural gas (Fanous and Moomaw, 2018).
Ironically, fossil fuels actually serve to reduce CO2 emissions far more than “renewable” biomass energy generation does.
Image Source: Fanous and Moomaw, 2018
Perhaps Greta Thunberg and other climate activists should listen to the scientists and focus on reducing CO2 emissions at home in Sweden before traveling abroad to stump for CO2 mitigation policies in other countries.