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Feb 10, 2021

Two technologies being promoted as climate solutions, biomass and hydropower, actually have big environmental consequences and might not be sustainable at all. Can we burn and dam our way out of the climate crisis?

We speak with Justin Catonoso, a Wake Forest University journalism professor and Mongabay reporter, who describes the loopholes in renewable energy policies that have allowed the biomass industry to flourish under the guise of carbon neutrality, even though the burning of trees for energy has been shown to release more carbon emissions than burning coal.

We also talk to Ana Colovic Lesoska, a biologist who was instrumental in shutting down two large hydropower projects in her Balkan country’s Mavrovo National Park. This recent Goldman Environmental Prize winner says there is a tidal wave of 3,000+ other hydropower projects still proposed for the region, and discusses whether hydropower can be a climate solution at all, at any scale.

Articles mentioned in this episode:

Read all of Mongabay's coverage of biomass here and hydropower here.

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