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Resolution

Calling on the Nature Conservancy to End Support of Biomass Industries

WHEREAS, Wood biomass is a process that clears trees from our invaluable forests and compress them into tiny capsules that are mostly shipped to other countries, mainly to Europe and Asia, to be burned for energy. Wood biomass is an irresponsible, false climate change solution with environmentally racist impacts caused by the disproportionate placement of toxic wood pellets manufacturing facilities in predominantly Black, Brown and Indigenous communities and exposing these vulnerable populations and our ecosystems to lethal chemicals such as: Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), methanol, formaldehyde, acrolein, diesel and noise pollution; and

WHEREAS, The NAACP passed resolutions in 2021 in opposition to deadly manufacturing and reckless use of wood bioenergy and called on world leaders and nations to halt wood pellet biomass production and the resulting environmental racism and exacerbated climate instability that characterize this industry (https://naacp.org/resources/resolution-wood-pellets-opposition). (https://naacp.oirg/resouces/advancing-global-climate-and--environmental-justice); and

WHEREAS, Drax, a British-based utility company that transitioned its coal burning power plant to wood biomass, is the largest wood biomass energy producer in the world and operates wood pellet mills across the South and sources from Enviva, the largest wood pellet manufacturer in the world based in Bethesda, Maryland. Drax, Enviva and the wood pellet industry at large benefit from massive subsidies for the UK and other governments, while most faced repeated fines in the United States for emitting illegal levels of pollution in poor, mostly Black communities where they choose to manufacture wood pellets; and

WHEREAS, In recent years, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – the largest, richest and most influential international environmental and land trust organization, entrusted with the protection of over 125 million acres of forests, has begun to engage in logging operations on its own nature "preserves" and has been increasingly engaged in pro-logging lobbying and public policy advocacy, alongside wood pellet industry. TNC falsely promotes wood production and logging as climate solutions and signed a March 2023 list of joint policy recommendations to congress with Drax and Enviva, calling for federal subsidies and other forms of government support related to the reauthorization of The Farm Bill (bit.ly/TheNatureConspiracy); and

WHEREAS, TNC and the forest biomass energy industry disproportionately impact environmental justice communities in the Southern and Northeastern Y.S. with increased air and water pollution and represents growing threats to communities and ecosystems in California and the interior West (https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full10.1089/env.2017.0025).

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the NAACP calls upon TNC and other environmental organizations to immediately cease their alignment and support of the forest biomass industry on policy proposals and instead to recognize and acknowledge the environmental racism, adverse climate change impacts, and forest degradation caused by the industry.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the NAACP urges TNC to strictly adhere to its mission "to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends" and implement transparent policies and procedures that fiercely protect and retain our forests-our best defense against climate change; and promote a viable, just and equitable energy transition, that does not further impair our planet and the poor, disadvantaged people already disproportionately bearing the brunt of adverse impacts of global warming.

Together Power Vote Hero - NAACP

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