Environmental issues are currently one of the hottest problems in the European Union. There is a general recognition that stopping climate change requires definite and urgent actions, as well as setting ambitious goals by all countries - not only European ones.
Lawmakers in the European Parliament’s environment committee voted in support of a proposal to phase out biofuels yesterday evening (23 October) but “completely failed” to secure climate friendly use of biomass in heating and electricity, green groups have said.
Campaigners have warned about the environmental dangers of bioenergy, saying burning wood is not low-carbon. However, forests can – and must – be managed in a sustainable way that maintains or even increases the carbon stock, writes Tony Juniper.
Opposition to the use of forest biomass for energy generation is going mainstream, writes Linde Zuidema, as evidence builds that wood is being burnt in large scale inefficient coal-fired power stations.
Biomass is only sustainable and renewable when sourced from responsibly managed forests that are growing, not from old growth, primary forest or protected biodiverse areas. And this should be independently verified, writes Dr Rebecca Heaton.
Lawmakers in the European Parliament will next month examine a draft renewable energy bill that recycling industries warn would allow EU countries to count the burning of biowaste towards their green energy obligations, undermining separate efforts to boost recycling.
Ahead of a European Parliament vote on land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), Hannah Aho explains how MEPs have both strengthened and weakened draft forest rules she says are essential in the fight against climate change.
Former ‘climate heroes’ France, Finland, Sweden and Austria are fighting tooth and nail to weaken EU land accounting rules, also known as the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation, writes Hannah Mowat.
Today is the International Day of Forests: 1.6 billion people rely on them for their livelihoods; they are home to more than 80% of the terrestrial life; and they’re a crucial bulwark against climate change, writes Linde Zuidema.
Alaska Airline passengers have taken to the skies in a "world-first" commercial flight running on sustainable alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals from the Pacific Northwest. EURACTIV's partner edie.net reports.
Bioenergy advocates claim that Europe’s forests are well managed and don’t contribute to global warming. Yet, biomass production in Europe is projected to rely more and more on materials that have a high risk of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, writes Linde Zuidema.
The experience of sustainable forestry management in Sweden and the other Nordic countries could serve as an inspiration for the EU when it draws up sustainability criteria for biomass, write Pernilla Winnhed, Carina Håkansson and Gustav Melin.
In its efforts to encourage displacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy, the EU intervened to promote bio-fuels, but ended up discriminating against production of a wider range of bio-based chemical feedstocks in Europe, writes Marco Mensink.
EU laws requiring member states to use “at least 10%” renewable energy in transport will be scrapped after 2020, the European Commission confirmed, hoping to set aside a protracted controversy surrounding the environmental damage caused by biofuels.
Gas demand in Europe will most likely continue to decline. This is the reason why the competition for additional gas import infrastructure is so fierce and politicised - there is simply no need for more, Julian Popov told EURACTIV.com in an exclusive interview.
Despite the encouraging and historic climate agreement at COP 21 in Paris, politicians all over the world argue that quick climate action is too costly. But if they redid the calculation and included co-benefits they would take action now. And they should, argues Christian Friis Bach.
The EU launched an investigation on Tuesday (5 January) into whether British government aid to convert the giant Drax power station from coal to more environmentally-friendly biomass breaches the bloc's state aid rules.