115 civil society groups call for bioenergy to be excluded from the RED post-2020

February 9, 2016 |

In the UK, 115 civil society organizations and networks from across the globe have published a declaration calling for bioenergy to be excluded from the next EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The declaration is being submitted to a consultation into the renewal of the directive for 2020 onwards.

The EU intends industrial bioenergy, i.e. biofuels and wood-based biomass, to continue playing a major part in its new renewable energy strategy. Campaigners say this will exacerbate the grave impacts already being experienced because of current support for biofuels and wood-based bioenergy in the EU.  Bioenergy already accounts for around two-thirds of energy classed as renewable in the EU.

The central premise of the declaration is that bioenergy should not be classed and supported as renewable energy, contrary to current EU definitions.  Campaigners point to growing evidence that industrial bioenergy is not renewable because it is not replenished as quickly as it is consumed. Worse still, carbon emissions from burning biomass for energy are often greater than the emissions from the fossil fuels they are supposed to replace.

“The devastating direct and indirect impacts of large-scale bioenergy must be fully recognized and reflected in the new RED” said Teresa Perez from the World Rainforest Movement. “We’ve joined with 115 other groups to send a strong signal to the EU that it must change its mind on bioenergy or risk doing far more harm than good. It’s clear that support for bioenergy in the EU is directly impacting forests internationally and the people that depend on them, promoting industrial tree plantations, as well as incentivizing even greater carbon emissions.”

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Category: Policy

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