In order to achieve our climate goals, the Netherlands imports wood from Estonia. Cargo ships filled with wood pellets arrive in Dutch ports, from where the biomass gets transferred to be burned in coal plants. According to the Dutch government, this all goes in a correct and sustainable manner, as the Netherlands has very strict criteria for the biomass that is imported.
But what really happens on the ground in Estonian forests?
We started digging. And got tangled in a complicated web of demands, laws, frames, certification and verification. Involved parties who declined talking to us and pointed out other parties as being responsible.
We saw protected areas where large areas are clear cut, visited local inhabitants protesting the loss of forests and talked to Estonian politicians, foresters and pellet producers who maintain that everything goes by the book.