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How bioenergy harms biodiversity: the facts

12 April 2021

How bioenergy harms biodiversity: the facts

Intensive forest management is having devastating impacts on wildlife and biodiversity in the EU. This has increased since bioenergy was incentivised as a renewable form of energy under the Renewable Energy Directive. Scientists, academics, environmental and social NGOs, and communities living near forests and power plants have all raised concerns, yet the burning of forest wood for energy keeps increasing. The knock‑on effects are dramatic. Not only does this increase carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but it also intensifies logging and reduces wildlife habitats. 

Linking to recent data from sources such as the European Environment Agency (EEA), Member State reporting to the European Commission, and academic research, this factsheet provides detail on these six reasons why and how bioenergy is harming biodiversity: 

1: Bioenergy use is high and rising. 

2: Increased demand for forest biomass means more intensive forestry. 

3: More intensive forestry means less biodiversity. 

4: Protected areas and primary forests are at risk. 

5: Burning of whole trees is increasing. 

6: Plantations are not forests. 

Categories: Bioenergy, Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), European forests

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