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.
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.
MEPs approved new rules on Wednesday (13 September) accounting for the "negative emissions" from forestry as part of the EU’s 2030 climate change policy, a move welcomed by conservationists but which scientists warn risks creating incentives to burn cheap biomass.
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.
The European Parliament’s environment committee on Tuesday (11 July) adopted a proposal on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). But the draft report has provoked criticism across sectors, as it now moves towards a full plenary vote and trialogue.
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.
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.
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.
Forests are vital to achieving the SDGs and the aims of the Paris Agreement. Without action to protect forests, the problems posed by poverty and climate change will only get worse, writes Indra Van Gisbergen.
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.
Forests have long been seen as a potential source of cheap and attractive offsets to compensate for the airline industry’s growing climate impact. However, there is one flaw. They don’t work, even by the ICAO’s own standards, writes Hannah Mowat.
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.