Woody Biomass: Corporate Discourse of Sustainable Energy and Ecojustice Critique (78698)

Session Information: Economics and Management
Session Chair: Etsuko Kinefuchi

Saturday, 25 May 2024 10:45
Session: Session 1
Room: Room 607
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Woody biomass energy has exponentially grown in the last decade as a “renewable, carbon neutral” energy alternative to fossil fuels. The upward trend of burning trees amid the global climate crisis suggests that the woody biomass industrial complex (consisting of wood pellet production and energy generation companies, governments that subsidize those companies, and other supporting structures) has been grossly successful in positioning itself as a sustainability leader. Critics, however, contest the industry by arguing that burning wood is hardly carbon neutral but only makes the climate crisis worse. To understand these utterly opposing standpoints, this paper first examines the ways in which corporations construct woody biomass as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. I will focus on the corporate discourse of Enviva and Drax, the two giants in the industry as a case study. Then, I will discuss the spheres of life that are left out of the corporate discourse from an ecojustice perspective informed by ecofeminism, Indigenous epistemologies, and earth jurisprudence. These spheres are what ecofeminist Val Plumwood calls “shadow places” that the dominant consumerist culture depends on but are erased from the culture’s consciousness. Ultimately, I argue that the sustainability of energy and all other modern environmental challenges must adopt an ecojustice paradigm informed by holistic perspectives that take seriously and respect the entanglement of life, kinship, and the earth law.

Etsuko Kinefuchi, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Etsuko Kinefuchi is a University Professor/Principal Lecturer at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in United States

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00