|Sustainable bioenergy discussed in the European Parliament
On 10 October 2017, EP Intergroup, CEPF and EUSTAFOR organised a breakfast event in the EU Parliament on the role of forest biomass in combating climate change and the impact of the Commission proposal for forest biomass sustainability criteria as part of the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II).
Forest owners and managers illustrated to policy makers and stakeholders ways in which European forests are sustainably managed regardless of the functions they fulfill and the end use of the biomass produced. They spoke at the event “Towards a new EU policy for sustainable bioenergy: The role of forest biomass for climate change mitigation and adaption” hosted by MEP Marijana Petir and MEP Hannu Takkula. MEP Marijana Petir opened the breakfast meeting by highlighting the multifunctional role that forests play. Giulio Volpi, Bioenergy policy coordinator from the Renewables and CCS policy Unit in DG ENERGY in European Commission reminded that the bioenergy will continue to play a key role in the future and a majority of forest bioenergy delivers GHG benefits, even taking into account biogenic emissions. Prof. Tomas Lundmark (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU) delivered insights into the role of forests in mitigating climate change and presented how managing forests is a sustainable way to combat climate change and develop bioeconomy. Mr Lundmark concluded that forest growth is decided by natural conditions and management, not given by nature, and increased forest growth will lead us to increased climate benefit.
Bernhard Budil, Secretary General of the Land & Forst Betriebe Österreich and a member of the Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) highlighted in his presentation that forests and forestry are a solution for global challenges such as climate change and sustainable development, the need to get rid of fossil materials and replace them with sustainable products. llga Anita Bērzkalne, Head of Development in Latvian State Forests (LVM) and a member of EUSTAFOR (European State Forest Association) introduced in her presentation the Latvian State Forests organisation and established the context of the Latvian legislative framework with stringent environmental regulations which ensure that harvesting does not inhibit the long term production capacity of the forests. Among the speakers, Linde Zuidema (FERN) gave a statement focusing on how sustainability criteria should focus on how wood is being used as a limited resource.
CEPF advocates for a strong role for forestry in the EU Climate and Energy Policy framework, as a part of the solution for climate change mitigation, the transition to clean energy and supporting viable rural areas. “In the context of REDII, we want to highlight the fact that sustainable forest management is well-covered and ensured by existing national and international legislation and frameworks. This must be acknowledged and the new renewable energy policy must enable Europe’s forest owners to continue supplying sustainable biomass for bioenergy and other uses”, says Emma Berglund, Secretary General of CEPF.