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.
EU policymakers face a big challenge to maximise the economic potential of Europe’s forestry sector while balancing its carbon emissions and removals. But it's one they will have to rise to if the bloc is to meet its climate and energy targets.
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.
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.