The European Union’s proposed new biomass policy has enough built-in safeguards to ensure it doesn’t lead to additional carbon emissions, an EU official told a EURACTIV event last week, amid warnings that the policy risks making global warming worse by increasing deforestation.
Forests are Europe’s biggest carbon sinks and forestry the sector with the greatest potential to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the quantities needed to meet the bloc’s objectives under the Paris Agreement.
Bioenergy has to be an essential part of the EU energy mix for at least the next 30 years. Without it, the commitment to a 1.5°C global warming target will be very hard, if not impossible to achieve, argue a group of scientists.
Net forest growth is now holding down the rate of climate change, making forests an invaluable “carbon sink”. Reducing this sink by cutting down more trees adds carbon to the air and makes climate change worse just like burning any other carbon-based fuel, write Tim Searchinger and Wolfgang Lucht.
The debate about the impact of burning solid biomass on air quality was steadfastly ignored by European Commission in revising the EU’s renewable energy policy. It is not too late for the European Parliament to rectify this, writes Linde Zuidema.
Claims that a "critical flaw" has been discovered in carbon accounting are somewhat exaggerated, and substantial bioenergy resources - subject to well-understood checks and balances- are available to tackle climate change, argue a group of scientists.
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.
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.
Forest mitigation should be measured using a scientifically-objective approach, not allowing countries to hide the impacts of policies that increase net emissions, writes a group of environmental scientists led by Dr Joanna I House.
Governments are “trapped” by lobbyists, and it’s hard to fight climate change. But if young people are mobilised and turn to healthy lifestyles, there is hope, according to scientists. EURACTIV.com reports from Lyon.
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.
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.
Over the past few months, tense debates on the sustainability of biomass used for energy production have arisen. Most stakeholders seem to agree on one point: we need an EU policy to ensure the sustainability of biomass, writes Harri Laurikka.
Sufficient sustainable biomass can be produced within European borders to drive major bioeconomy development and all that is needed is recognition of this latent potential and enabling public policies, writes Zoltán Szabó.