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Bioenergy: Presentations

How to improve the leaked #EUbioenergy proposals

How to improve the leaked #EUbioenergy proposals explains the problems with using biomass for renewable energy and how the European Commission should change its proposal for new bioenergy policy to make sure bioenergy works for people and the planet.

Presentations from negative emissions seminar

This seminar held in May 2016 brought key scientists together with environmental, development and human rights NGOs to understand the Paris Agreement’s implications for forests and land use. A final report of the meeting gives an overview of discussions and presentations given.

 

 

 

Presentations were:

Brendan Mackey, Griffith University, Australia: What role do forests play in the forest carbon cycle?

Sivan Kartha, Stockholm Environment Institute: IPCC scenarios and negative emissions assumptions

Tim Searchinger, Princeton University: IPCC scenarios and bioenergy assumptions

Kate Dooley, University of Melbourne: Potential impacts (ecological, biophysical, social) from scaled up negative emissions and bioenergy

Almuth Ernsting, Biofuelwatch: Could BECCS remove CO2 from the atmosphere?

Kevin Andersen, Tyndall Centre: What does a 1.5°C scenario without negative emissions look like?

After presentations and discussions, participants agreed on the following priorities:

  • Urgent need to reduce emissions
  • Urgent need to increase carbon sequestration in land and forests
  • Forests and land do not offset fossil fuel emissions
  • Redefine ‘negative emissions’

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)

Media:

  • 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

NGO comments to European Commission investigation in to UK state aid to Drax power plan

In January of this year, the European Commission launched an investigation into whether the UK government’s financial support for Drax to convert part of its coal power plant to operate on biomass breaches the European Union’s rules on state aid.

How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? Focus on forests

In September 2015, world governments adopted an Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The aims are noble and daunting – end all forms of poverty, fight inequality, address climate change, and ensure that no one is left behind.

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PDF iconFocus on forests.pdf401.04 KB

Fred Pearce Guest Blog: Green Invasion

Europe’s once peaceful forests are being invaded - in the name of green energy. To meet European Union policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting renewable electricity and heating, governments from France to Romania are providing huge subsidies for the expansion of biomass burning in large power plants. 

BLOG: Bioenergy and social injustice in North Carolina

by Linde Zuidema

Our Bioenergy campaigner, Linde Zuidema, has been visiting the South-East United States to witness how forests are being destroyed to produce wood pellets for the EU energy market. Here she discovers the impact of the industry on local communities in North Carolina.

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