With a Nobel Peace Prize under her belt, and a crucial role as Enviva’s vice-president and chief sustainability officer, Dr Jennifer Jenkins is well-versed on the benefits of biomass. Bioenergy Insight caught up with Dr Jenkins to discuss the impact of COVID-19, anti-biomass campaigns and the role of bioenergy in a low-carbon future.
Could you tell our readers a bit about yourself and what led to your interest in biomass/ bioenergy specifically?
I would characterise my trajectory into the biomass and bioenergy space as more of an evolution versus a single moment decision. The common thread throughout my professional career has been “taking action on climate, while also being practical”.
I spent a lot of time hiking and camping as a child, and really developed an affinity for being outside, as well as a deep respect for the natural world. In graduate school, I became intrigued with how carbon flows — between soils, roots, tree biomass, and the atmosphere — and was interested in how society might use forests to help mitigate the climate crisis. For example, what really determined the flow of carbon...