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The International Family Forestry Alliance

More work is still needed on forestry issues in Renewable Energy Directive (recast) after European Parliament’s Environment Committee vote

After the vote of European Parliament’s Environment Committee on the Directive on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources (RED recast) on 23 October, forest owners and managers see as a positive step the approach taken on the forest biomass sustainability as it endorses the European Commission’s proposal.

Specifically, forest owners and managers recognize the efforts made by MEPs to set up a suitable system for the verification of sustainable forest biomass sourcing (Art. 26). This was achieved by rejecting the devastating “compromise” proposed by the Rapporteur Bas Eickhout. The “risk-based” approach that was supported in the vote takes into account existing legislation and systems on sustainability of forest management. The formulation of certain sustainability requirements nevertheless still needs improvements. 
Another critical point is the introduction of wording which could lead to the imposition of the cascading use principle. It has been reiterated several times, also by the Commission, that the principle does not fit for EU legislation. Therefore, these formulations should be removed during the next steps of the legislative process.
Moreover, the Environment Committee adopted a critical stance on forest-based advanced biofuels. The opinion restricts the development of advanced biofuels by restricting the scope of feedstocks eligible for accounting towards the target. Development of advanced biofuels is one of the solutions to ensure a more climate-friendly transport sector and will contribute to a sustainable forestry sector as well as green growth and jobs in EU rural areas. 
In conclusion, forest owners and managers encourage policy makers to further improve the chosen risk-based approach for forest biomass sustainability and delete references to cascade use. The provisions in relation to advanced biofuels also need to be revised prior to defining the position of European Parliament.
For more information, please see the earlier position paper on this topic.
For further information, please contact: 
Salvatore Martire, Policy Advisor EUSTAFOR:
Meri Siljama, Policy Advisor, CEPF: 
Oana Neagu, Director, Copa-Cogeca: 
Amanda Cheesley, Press Officer, Copa-Cogeca: 

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