As the European Commission considers its long-term strategy to cut EU greenhouse gas emissions, Julia Christian says they must reject an unproven and dangerous technology in favour of protecting and restoring natural forests.
A coalition of green NGOs and industries in the business of recycling, chemicals, forestry and the bio-based economy wrote to policymakers on Thursday (3 May), urging them to prevent incineration of unrecyclable waste from being counted as renewable energy.
Barely six years old, the EU’s Bioeonomy Strategy, currently under revision, is slowly but surely propagating green shoots of sustainable economic recovery in innumerable and unexpected ways, writes Joanna Dupont.
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.
Sustainable forest management is vital to ensure that Europe meets its climate and energy goals. But over-regulating forest bioenergy would damage the sector’s economic performance and undermine its potential for climate change mitigation, Emma Berglund told EURACTIV in an interview.
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.
One week before the European Parliament’s vote on the new Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), the debate on solid bioenergy’s role and future contribution to meeting the EU’s renewable energy targets has been (once again) taken hostage by radical statements from a select few NGOs, writes Jean-Marc Jossart.
Lawmakers are considering a complete phase out of palm oil in transport fuels by 2021 – a proposal which has garnered support from the biggest political groups in the European Parliament ahead of a key vote next week, EURACTIV can confirm.
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.
A flaw in Europe’s clean energy plan allows fuel from felled trees to qualify as renewable energy when in fact this would accelerate climate change and devastate forests, warn a group of scientists from the world’s leading universities.
Kenya is one of the biggest exporters of cut flowers in the world but the booming industry has created a raft of environmental problems. Local producers are now coming up with new ideas to cut pollution while keeping their business profitable.
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.