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Bioenergy: Presentations

Presentations from event "How sustainable is Scandinavian biomass?"

By 2020, bioenergy will account for more than 10 per cent of total energy consumption in the EU. Scandinavian forests will be a significant source of biomass for energy, but intensified harvesting could substantially harm biodiversity and impact on the climate.

On 30 January, Satu Hassi MEP (Greens/EFA), EEB, BirdLife Europe, ClientEarth and FERN organised an event in the European Parliament on sustainability of Scandinavian biomass.

The event included presentations from Professor Bengt Gunnar Jonsson (Mid Sweden University), Jonas Rudberg (Swedish Society for Nature Conservation) and Anna Repo (Finnish Environment Institute).

Panellists were Olof Johansson (Sveaskog), Hans Van Steen (European Commission, DG Energy), Petteri Kuuva (Ministry of Employment and Economy, Finland), Sini Eräjää (Finnish Association for Nature Conservation) and Ariel Brunner (BirdLife Europe)


Further information:

NGO briefing on biomass

Report from FANC “Felling the golden goose. The sustainable limits of Finland’s biomass ambitions”

Report from SSNC “Credibility at stake”

Presentations from event "Carbon emissions from bioenergy - how it impacts our climate"

Bioenergy will account for over 10 per cent of total energy consumption in the EU by 2020.

On 29 March, Linda McAvan MEP (S&D), Fiona Hall MEP (ALDE), Bas Eickhout MEP (Greens/EFA), BirdLife, FERN and the European Environmental Bureau organised an event in the European Parliament which discussed sustainability issues linked to biomass for energy and the impact on the climate, for 2020 and beyond.

The event included presentations from Neil Bird (Joanneum Research), David Carr (Southern Environmental Law Center, US) and Detlef Sprinz (Chairman Scientific Committee, European Environment Agency).

Further information:

  • NGO briefing on biomass
  • Opinion of the EEA Scientific Committee on Greenhouse Gas Accounting in Relation to Bioenergy
  • Study from the Biomass Energy Resource Center, the Forest Guild and the Spatial Informatics Group on "Biomass Supply and Carbon Accounting for Southeastern Forests"
  • Searchinger et al., Fixing a critical carbon accounting error; (Science, October 2009)
  • Haberl et al., Correcting a fundamental error in greenhouse gas accounting related to bioenergy; (Energy policy, February 2012)


  • BirdLife, EEB and FERN media release
  • Euractiv article "Biomass 'insanity' may threaten EU carbon targets" – published 2 April 2012

Presentations from "Biomass and resource efficiency: The need for a supply-led approach to forest productivity"

“Measures are needed to ensure use of forest products is not guided by unregulated demand, but by what forests can sustainably supply,” this was one of the conclusions of the "Biomass and Resource Efficiency" event attended by more than 70 people at the European Parliament. It was organised by FERN, ClientEarth, the Greens and Grupo PPE.

The three attached presentations come from Marcus Lindner, looking at European Forests and the EUWood study, Sten Nilsson looking at the global situation and Joost Van de Velde, looking at wider global trends.

Bas Eickhout MEP, concluded the event by stating that "Sustainability criteria for bioenergy are crucialThat does not mean we should support low and unambitious criteria.  If the criteria turn out to be very weakwe have to vote against and demand a stronger proposal. I therefore urge the Commission to put a proposal on the table that properly addresses the carbon debt of biomass."


FERN meeting on Bioenergy - 19 and 20 November 2008

  • The potential role of biomass in the EU (Veerle Dossche - FERN)
  • Wood as energetic biomass - threats and opportunities (Zdenek Postulka - Hnuti Duha)
  • Cooling the planet with biomass (Deepak Rughani - Biofuelwatch)
  • Overview of Forestry Measures in Rural Development (Joost Vandevelde - DG Environment)
  • Bioenergy in Cohesion Policy (Beth Masterson & Mathieu Fichter - DG Regio)

Most recent publications

The most crucial challenges facing Europe’s forests

This short briefing outlines BirdLife, European Environmental Bureau and FERN recommendations for the Parliament’s own initiative report on the EU Forest Strategy.

FERN’s response to the report “Forest Sustainability and Carbon Balance of EU Importation of North American Forest Biomass"

FERN is concerned that the report from the European Biomass Association (AEBIOM),BC Bioenergy Network, US Industrial Wood Pellet Association and Wood Pellet Association of Canada purposely ignores the fact that US pellet manufacturing facilities source wood from whole trees.

Reaction to AEBIOM report.pdf83.88 KB

Our forests aren't fuel: How European demand for biomass threatens North American forests

Conversions of large coal-burning power plants to wood (co-)firing in Europe have resulted in the explosive growth of wood pellet exports from North America, most of which originate in the forests of the southern United States. 
Enviva, the South’s largest exporter of wood pellets, currently leads this market and h
Enviva Ahoskie report.pdf2.53 MB

European Commission urged to release the EU Forest Strategy

This press release warns that any delay in proposing an EU forestry strategy will lead to more fragmented and possibly contradictory decisions. European forest related organisations are seriously concerned that the European Commission has delayed publishing the new EU Forest Strategy, overlooking the importance of forests and forestry in EU policy.

Press release: NGOs reject proposed text of the legally binding agreement on forests

This Press Release from a broad coalition of European NGOs has strongly criticised the text for a Pan-European Forest Convention discussed last week by European Government Representatives. Members of the 30-strong coalition, such as FERN, Friends of the Earth Europe, Bird Life Europe, Greenpeace, ClientEarth and the German Nature Conservation League, believe the draft text is biased towards wood production without improving the overall state of forest ecosystems in Europe. They claim the text is too general to be meaningful, and too restrictive with regard to public participation.

NGO Statement to Negotiating Committee for a Legally Binding Agreement on Forests in Europe

Statement from Friedrich Wulf of Pro Natura – Friends of the Earth Switzerland on behalf of FoE Eu­rope, its members and a large number of European Environmental NGOs and NGO networks: Bird Life Europe, FERN, IFAW, CEEweb, PlantLife, BatLife Europe, Client Earth, Greenpeace, Wetlands International, Robin Wood, ARA, Quercus, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Pro Regenwald, Friends of the Siberian Forests, Rainforest Foundation Norway,  TERRA, Global Witness and others. It expresses the NGOs' disappointment with the text of the convention.

NGO Opening statement INC4.pdf98.39 KB