As 2009 draws to a close, the European Commission is finalising its report on a sustainability scheme for biomass, but considering voluntary recommendations rather than binding biomass criteria. This short briefing explains why having voluntary rather than obligatory criteria will inevitably lead to wide variations between EU Member State schemes. Many analysts expect that the coming years will see increased demand for wood for energy production, and if there are no binding criteria attached to a further mobilisation of wood, this could lead to serious harm for forests in the EU. Moreover, a lack of binding criteria in the EU could lead to ancient forests outside the EU being opened up, and this is in total contradiction with previous EU initiatives to combat deforestation.
Volunteering for disaster - Why biomass criteria must be ambitious and legally binding
3 December 2009