The Future of Forest Products in a Changing Climate: Bioenergy from Forests

January 5, 2022

The Yale Forest Forum is excited to announce the next speaker series for the spring 2022 semester, taking place on Tuesdays, jointly hosted by the Yale Carbon Containment Lab,  Yale Center for Industrial Ecology and The Forests Dialogue.

The Future of Forest Products in a Changing Climate: Bioenergy from Forests (BEF)

Energy generated from the combustion of wood and wood wastes or biofuels derived from wood, which is called bioenergy from forests, has been heralded by some as a promising renewable energy source. Yet others raise concerns over negative impacts on the environment and human health and potential increases in green-house gas emissions. In the United States, the Biden Administration’s emphasis on climate change has inspired renewed conversations over a full suite of energy technology and natural climate solutions, including biomass energy produced from both hazardous fuels and managed forest systems. Some consider bioenergy from forests an important component in the transition away from fossil fuels while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, key to achieving net-zero economy-wide targets. While for others, the efforts to promote the scaling up of bioenergy from forests raises concerns about natural resource demands and larger sustainability priorities.

The webinar will bring in a wide range of experts to discuss the future role of bioenergy from forests in addressing climate, resource, societal and environmental challenges at regional and global scales. Guest speakers will represent forestry, energy, conservation, and climate science. Speakers will describe their personal and organizational experience with bioenergy from forests, and discuss the environmental, economic, and societal implications for increased use for the energy sector, forest products industry and society.

Join us every Tuesday from January 25 - April 19 from 11:30am-12:10pm US EST. Note: there will be no webinar on March 22.

Click here to register. Register once to attend all webinars and to view the recordings.

Date Speaker Organization Theme Speaker Information (bio and abstracts)

Webinar (slides and recording)

January 25

Mark Ashton - Professor of Silviculture and Forest Ecology, and the Director of the Yale Forests

Gary Dunning - Executive Director of the The Forests Dialogue (TFD)

Reid Lifset - Resesrach Scholar, Resident Fellow in Industrial Ecology, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Industrial Ecology

Anastasia O’Rourke - Managing Director at the Carbon Containment Lab

Yale School of the Environment Overview of Bioenergy from Forests (BEF)    
February 1 Alice Favero - Assistant Professor and Environmental Economist School of Public Policy, Georgia Tech Biomass and Land Use    
February 8 Annie Levasseur - Professor and Canada Research Chair in Measuring the Impact of Human Activities on Climate Change

École de technologie supérieure, ÉTS

The Industrial Ecology of BEF    
February 15 Steve Hamburg - Chief Scientist Environmental Defense Fund

Conservation and ‘right sizing’ BEF


February 22

William Moomaw - Professor Emeritus of International Environmental Policy  The Fletcher School - Tufts Key environmental challenges of BEF    

March 1

Kim Cesafsky DuBose - Director of Sustainability Enviva Inc., BEF opportunities for the forest products industry  

March 8

Richard Peberdy - Head of Sustainable Forests

Drax Biomass Inc., Energy Industry’s Interest in BEF    
March 15 Panelists (tbc)   Panel Discussion: Foresters Debate When, Where and How to consider BEF    
March 29 Daniel Sanchez - Assistant Specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management University of California-Berkeley Investment in Bioenergy from Forests    
April 5 Matt Donegan - Chair of Govenors Council Oregon Wildfire Response Council Wildfire and Bioenergy from Forests    
April 12 Adam Colette - Program Director Dogwood Alliance Community concerns with Bioenergy from Forests    
April 19 Ann Bartuska - Senior Advisor (RFF) and former Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics at the USDA Resources for the Future US and global policy matters related to Bioenergy from Forests    

Photo by U.S. Bureau of Land Management