Position on wood burning on an industrial scale.

Honorable Prime Minister, members of the government and the Riigikogu

Resolute implementation of science-based measures is essential to achieve carbon neutrality. One important issue is the use of biomass as renewable energy, which has shown far-reaching negative effects on biodiversity and on the achievement of climate goals themselves. Wood burning is currently the most common form of renewable energy, and its actual carbon emissions and impact on forests are under scrutiny of scientists.

Soon, the European Union is planning to review the Renewable Energy Directive and dealing with wood from forests and clarifying sustainability criteria is also in question. A recent report by the Joint Research Center, which is an input to possible changes, highlights the scope for improvement within existing regulations, but also explicitly states that many climate and biodiversity risk scenarios cannot be prevented by existing regulations. Without changing the current criteria, both greenhouse gas emissions and pressure on forest ecosystems will increase at the same time.

The dangers of large-scale wood burning for climate and biodiversity goals were also discussed by 500 scientists who addressed world leaders in a public letter on February 11th this year. They called for an end to the direct and indirect subsidies that favored it. However, the European Union needs the explicit support of the various parties, including the Member States, to address this issue in a meaningful way.

We therefore express our view that the promotion of industrial wood burning through both national and international subsidies and carbon trading rules must be stopped. The Estonian state and state agencies managing its natural resources must protect biodiversity and manage it sustainably, considering the EU and international climate and biodiversity goals.

As signatories, we welcome the relevant changes in Estonia’s political positions, one of the outputs of which is the opinion of the Environment Committee of the Riigikogu on the treatment of forest wood sustainability. It emphasizes the need for a science-based solution and supports the reopening of the discussion on biomass sustainability criteria under the Renewable Energy Directive.

Significant mistakes have been made in the past in addressing the link between forests and climate, and it is essential to correct these mistakes. The review of regulations in favor of wood burning in the light of new knowledge is a major step that would confirm the serious commitment of decision-makers to climate and biodiversity goals. As researchers, we would appreciate efforts to address the substance of such complex issues.

On behalf of the signatories

Raul Rosenvald

forest scientist (PhD)

UT ÖMI, researcher of sustainable forestry


Asko Lõhmus

ecologist (PhD)

Professor of Nature Conservation Biology, UT

Lea Hallik

plant ecology and ecophysiology (PhD)

Associate Professor of Remote Sensing of Vegetation, UT TO

Urmas Kõljalg

taxonomist (PhD)

Academician, UT Professor of Mycology

Virve Sõber

ecologist (PhD)

Researcher at the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, UT

Grete Arro

Educational Psychologist (PhD)

Researcher at the Institute of Educational Sciences, Tallinn University

Ülo Niinemets

ecophysiologist (PhD)

Academician, Professor of Plant Breeding and Plant Biology, EMÜ

Piret Lõhmus

lichenologist (PhD)

Associate Professor of Nature Conservation Biology, UT

Antti Tamm

physicist (PhD)

Director of UT Tartu Observatory

Meelis Pärtel

ecologist (PhD)

Professor of Botany, UT

Maarja Öpik

ecologist (PhD)

Professor of Molecular Ecology, UT ÖMI

Kalevi Kull

ecologist (PhD)

Professor of Biosemiotics, UT

Anneli Palo

landscape ecologist (PhD)

researcher, UT ÖMI

Jaan Pärn

geographer (PhD)

researcher of natural geography, UT ÖMI

Tiiu Kull

botanist (PhD)

Professor of Biodiversity and Nature Tourism, EMÜ

Ivika Ostonen-Märtin

ecophysiologist (PhD)

Professor of Root Ecology, UT ÖMI

Stefan Groote

physicist (PhD)

Associate Professor at the Institute of Physics, UT

Reet Mändar

microbial ecologist (PhD)

professor, UT BSMI

Tiit Teder

ecologist (PhD)

Associate Professor of Entomology, UT ÖMI

Valentina Sagris

Geoinformatics (PhD)

Researcher at the Department of Geography, UT ÖMI

Liina Remm

ecologist (PhD)

Researcher of Nature Conservation Biology, UT

Aveliina Helm

ecologist (PhD)

Associate Professor of Botany, UT ÖMI

Tsipe Aavik

ecologist (PhD)

Associate Professor of Macroecology, UT ÖMI

Kalev Sepp

landscape ecology and environmental protection (PhD)

Professor of Environmental Protection and Landscape Management, EMÜ

Urmas Tartes

biologist (PhD)

Chairman of the Nature Conservation Committee, EMÜ

Riinu Rannap

ecologist (PhD)

researcher in nature conservation biology, UT ÖMI

Kai Vellak

bryologist (PhD)

Associate Professor of Plant Ecology, UT ÖMI

Kadri Runnel

ecologist (PhD)

researcher in nature conservation biology, UT ÖMI

Kuno Kasak

eco-technology (PhD)

Associate Professor of Environmental Technology, UT ÖMI

Lauri Laanisto

plant ecology and ecophysiology (PhD)

Senior Research Fellow in Macroecology, EMÜ

Piia Post

atmospheric physicist (PhD in geophysics)

Associate Professor of Meteorology and Climatology, Institute of Physics, UT

Tauri Tampuu (MSc)

doctoral student of natural geography, UT ÖMI

Katrin Rosenvald

landscape ecologist (PhD)

researcher of applied ecology, UT ÖMI

Kristin Kuutma

Professor of Cultural Studies (PhD)

Holder of the UNESCO Chair of Applied Research in the Intangible Cultural Heritage, UT

Ardi Tampuu

computer scientist (PhD)

Institute of Computer Science, UT

Floor Vodde

forestry and forest ecology (PhD)

Researcher of Forest Disorders and Forest Ecology, EMÜ

Marko Kaasik

environmental physicist (PhD)

Associate Professor of Air Pollution Modeling, Institute of Physics, UT

Jane Raamets

Construction and Environmental Engineering (PhD)

Tallinn University of Technology Tartu College

Kadri Pärtel

mycologist (PhD)

researcher, UT OMI

Aet Annist

anthropologist (PhD)

TLU Estonian Environmental Movements Research Group senior researcher; Associate Professor, Department of Ethnology, UT

Alexei Kuznetsov

chemist (PhD)

researcher, Institute of Chemistry, UT

Katrin Heinsoo

ecologist (PhD)

Senior Research Fellow in Production Ecology, EMÜ

Heidi Tamm

mycologist (PhD)

researcher, UT ÖMI

Elin Soomets

animal ecologist (PhD)

nature conservation specialist, UT ÖMI

Margit Kõiv-Vainik

eco-technology (PhD)

Associate Professor of Environmental Technology, UT ÖMI

Elle Roosaluste

plant ecologist (PhD)

specialist, UT ÖMI

Jaanus Terasmaa

ecologist (PhD)

Head of the TU Ecology Center, Professor of Ecohydrology

Mari Ivask

soil ecologist (PhD)

Emeritus Professor, TalTech

Mart Jüssi

animal ecologist (PhD)

Ivar Ojaste

applied biology (PhD)

Senior lecturer in environmental ecology, EMÜ PKI

Mari Arold

doctoral student in geography and environmental science

University of Oxford

Toomas Esperk

ecologist (PhD)

Associate Professor of Invertebrate Zoology, UT

Tõnu Ploompuu

botanist and evolutionist

TU Institute of Natural and Health Sciences

Bellis Kullman

mycologist-geneticist (PhD)

lecturer, EMÜ PKI

Maris Hindrikson

zoologist (PhD)

researcher of teriology, UT ÖMI

Sten Anslan

biologist (PhD)

researcher, UT ÖMI

Ave Suija

lichenologist (PhD)

Associate Professor, UT ÖMI

Rein Kalamees

plant ecologist (PhD)

researcher of plant ecology, UT ÖMI

Krista Takkis

biologist (PhD)

Researcher of Restoration Ecology, UT ÖMI

Ants Kaasik

statistics (PhD)

researcher, UT ÖMI

Kersti Püssa

ecologist (PhD)

chief ecologist, UT ÖMI

Mari Lepik

ecologist (PhD)

researcher of plant ecology, UT ÖMI

Jüri Plado

geologist (PhD)

Associate Professor of Geology, UT ÖMI

Mari Moora

ecologist (PhD)

Professor of Ecology, UT ÖMI

Eele Õunapuu-Pikas

ecophysiologist (PhD)

researcher of ecophysiology, UT ÖMI

Olev Vinn

paleontologist and paleoecologist (PhD)

Associate Professor of Paleontology, UT ÖMI

Ülo Mander

landscape ecologist and natural geographer (PhD)

professor, UT ÖMI

Tõnu Oja

ecologist and geoinformatics (PhD)

Professor of Geoinformatics and Cartography, UT ÖMI

Marko Mägi

zoologist (PhD)

researcher of avian ecology, UT ÖMI

Peeter Hõrak

animal ecologist (PhD)

Professor of Behavioral Ecology, UT ÖMI

Inga Jüriado

lichenologist (PhD)

Associate Professor of Lichenology, UT ÖMI

Kersti Riibak

ecologist (PhD)

researcher of macroecology, UT ÖMI

Randel Kreitsberg

zoologist (PhD)

Researcher of Ecotoxicology, UT ÖMI

Juhan Javois

ecologist (PhD)

researcher, UT ÖMI

Marko Kohv

geologist (PhD)

Department of Geology, UT ÖMI

Marko Prous

entomologist (PhD)

Researcher, University of Oulu

Martin Zobel


Professor of Plant Ecology, UT ÖMI

Siim-Kaarel Sepp

ecologist (PhD)

researcher of plant ecology, UT ÖMI

Kadri Koorem

Ecologist (PhD)

researcher of plant ecology, UT ÖMI

Inga Hiiesalu

ecologist (PhD)

researcher of plant ecology, UT ÖMI

Egle Tammeleht

zoologist (PhD)

researcher of teriology, UT ÖMI

Martti Vasar

ecologist (PhD)

researcher of plant ecology, UT ÖMI

 Siiri Kõljalg

microbiologist (PhD)

Department of Microbiology, UT BSMI

Tuul Sepp


Associate Professor of Animal Ecology, UT

Harri Valdmann

Associate Professor of Zoology, UT

Jesse M. Kalwij

Senior Researcher in Plant Ecology (PhD),

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Oive Tinn

paleontologist (PhD)

Associate Professor, UT ÖMI

Rein Einasto

Professor Emeritus of Geology and Environmental Studies (PhD), TTK

Tiina Elvisto (PhD)

Associate Professor of Plant Ecology, TU

Polina Degtjarenko

lichenologist (PhD)

researcher of lichenology, UT ÖMI

Eve Veromann

Professor of the Chair of Plant Health, EMÜ

Kadri Põldmaa

mycologist (PhD)

Associate Professor of Mycology, UT ÖMI

Signing complete!!!

Another list of scientists

Priit-Kalev Parts

environmental protection (PhD)

Associate Professor of Heritage Technology, UT Viljandi Academy of Culture

Ivar Raig

Member of the Board of MTÜ Saku Metsa Kaitseks,

Member of Saku Parish Council, (PhD econ.)

Tallinn University, Academy of Law, Professor

Anzori Barkalaja

folklorist (PhD)

Member of Viljandi municipality council

Member of the NGO Lätkalu-Lalsi village society

Alar Aab

medical science (PhD)

Postdoctoral Fellow of Lund University

Madis Vasser

researcher (PhD)

Institute of Computer Science, UT

Ave Mets

philosophy (PhD)

senior researcher in philosophy of science, UT

Kadri Just

agriculture (PhD)

Member of the Estonian Green Movement

Tiina Sedman

biochemistry researcher (PhD), UT

Leho Tedersoo

Botany and Mycology (PhD)

Professor of Mycorrhizal Research, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, UT

Aet Annist

anthropologist (PhD), environmental activist

Member of XR Tallinn

Tarmo Timm

biologist-zoologist (PhD)

EAU ZBI senior researcher

LIVE member

Elin Soomets

animal ecology (PhD)

Nature Conservation Biologist, UT

Janek Urvik

Human Biology Assistant (PhD)

UT Department of Medical Sciences, Institute of Biomedical and Transitional Medicine

Fred Puss

private forest owner, lexicographer-junior researcher (PhD)

Institute of the Estonian Language

entrepreneur, member of ELUS

Linda Rusalepp

Botany and Ecology (PhD), Junior Researcher, EMÜ

Tiit Maran

nature conservation biology (PhD)

Director of Tallinn Zoo

Ülo Vooglaid

sociologist (PhD)

Helle Mäemets

botanist (PhD)

LIVE member

Senior researcher, EMÜ

Thea Kull

botanist (PhD), EMÜ

Sulev Iva

philosophy (PhD), forest owner

Lecturer of South Estonian Language and Culture at UT

Researcher at the Võru Institute

Jaak Jaagus

geographer and climatologist, candidate of geography

Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, UT

Külli Kangur

hydrobiologist, ecologist (PhD)

Senior researcher, EMÜ

member of ELUS

Merike Lillenberg

biologist, (PhD) (environmental protection)

lecturer, EMÜ


visiting professor

(PhD econ.), TalTech alumni, TU

Georgia UT Kaasiku forest farm owner in Lääne-Virumaa

Kadri Tali

botanist (PhD)

LIVE member

Senior researcher, EMÜ

Vivika Väli

botanist, palynologist (PhD)

Researcher, EMÜ

member of ELUS