Campaign News


Bioenergy policy ‘driven by alternative facts’ - 27 Mar 2017

The EU has a flawed bioenergy policy and should heed recent warnings about the dangers of burning wood to create energy, a bioenergy campaigner says.

In a post for Euractiv, Linde Zuidema, a member of the non-governmental organisation Fern, writes that in the EU about 65 per cent of renewable energy is produced by burning biomass, and around three-quarters of this is wood.

This is despite growing opposition to the “unfettered use” of wood on an industrial scale for power and heating, including a recent report by the think-tank Chatham House which argued that using wood to generate electricity could be damaging the battle against global warming.

Zuidema says that the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation’s theme for this year’s International Day of Forests - Forests and Energy - has “set alarm bells ringing”.

The FAO declared that “wood is the fuel of the future” and has highlighted how biomass can be used to provide energy and power vehicles.

“For many people around the world, wood is a traditional and crucial source of energy – without it they wouldn’t survive,” Zuidema writes.

“Yet more countries are using woody biomass as a source of renewable energy on an industrial scale, ostensibly as a ‘green energy’ alternative to fossil fuels.”

“If burning more wood is what the FAO means by its slogan that forests are ‘the world’s power house’, then it is one the world should ignore,” Zuidema added.

“This is particularly important as the EU is currently considering a sustainable bioenergy policy for the period after 2020. No matter what ‘alternative facts’ about carbon neutrality are used, the atmosphere won’t be fooled.

“If the policy encourages further harvesting and burning of wood then vast amounts of carbon dioxide will be added into the atmosphere.”



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