Researchers have recently argued that there is a 'critical climate accounting error' and that we should say 'goodbye to carbon neutral' for bioenergy. Many other analysts have published opionions on the same topic, and the US Environmental Protection Agency posted a specific call for information. The currently burning questions for carbon accounting is how to deal with bioenergy. The questions arises because, unlike for fossil fuels, burning of biomass fuels represents part of a cycle in which combustion releases back to the atmosphere carbon that was earlier removed from the atmosphere by growing plants. In a sustainable system, plants will again remove the carbon dioxide (CO) from the atmosphere. Conceptually, it is clear that there are no net emissions of the greenhouse gas CO if biomass is harvested and combusted at the same rate that biomass grows and removes CO from the atmosphere. The problem lies in the fact that growth and combustion do not occur at the same time or in the same place, and our accounting system boundaries - spatial and temporal - frequently do not provide full and balanced accounting. When the first comprehensive guidelines for estimating national greenhouse gas emissions and sinks were put together by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, they noted that it has been argued that CO emissions resulting from bioenergy consumption should not be included in a country's official emission inventory because there are no net emissions if the biomass is produced sustainably, and if the biomass is not produced sustainably, the loss of carbon will be captured as part of the accounting for emissions from land-use change. In the same philosophical vein, the Kyoto Protocol provides that emissions or sinks of CO from land-use change and forestry activities be measured as the 'verifiable changes in carbon stocks'. From these has grown the convention that emissions from biomass fuels are generally not counted as part of emissions inventories, and biomass energy is sometimes referred to as being 'carbon neutral.' But what happens when a forest is harvested for fuel but takes 60 years to regrow or when biomass is harvested in a country that is not party to an international accord but is burned in a country that is party to an international accord? Biomass energy is only truly 'carbon neutral' if we get the system boundaries right. They need to make sure that the accounting methodology is compatible with our needs and realities in management and policy.