There is no debate that burning wood for energy emits more greenhouse gases per unit of energy than burning fossil fuels. Yet the EU's renewable energy directive continues to uphold that burning forest wood is "carbon neutral," write Jean-Pascal van Ypersele and Mary S. Booth.
A group of plaintiffs from Estonia, France, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, and the US are filing a lawsuit against the European Union on Monday (4 March) to challenge the inclusion of forest biomass in the bloc’s renewable energy directive.
As the world awakes to the threat posed by palm oil and soy to our forests, it’s in danger of overlooking how paper and packaging drives industrial logging, mis-shapes millions of hectares of forest landscapes and creates monoculture plantations, writes Sini Eräjää.
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.
Forests are uniquely linked to climate change because they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. So why is the EU on the verge of following a disastrous path in a key area of climate policy? wonders Hanna Aho.
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.
Forests are considered the nation’s ‘green gold’ in Finland. But the government's new climate and energy strategy means their potential as a carbon sink will halve in the coming years, reducing the ability to use forests as a buffer against climate change, writes Satu Hassi.
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.
The Paris climate agreement was historic. Some 177 nations signed the Paris treaty to limit warming to at least 2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. Yet the question remains – are countries clear on how they will get there? asks Dr Lini Wollenberg.