By Maxime Paquin, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia
Fossil fuels are fuelling climate change. In an attempt to move away from fossil fuels, Europe has explored a range of other sources of energy, capitalizing on renewable sources of energy. The problem is that renewable energy does not necessarily equate to sustainable energy.
Bioenergy is a case of good intentions gone bad. It makes up 65% of the European Union’s renewable energy mix, and there’s a lot of bad bioenergy in the mix. Our newest video The Bioenergy Barometer – What puts pressure on our planet’s future? gives an overview of the current state of bioenergy in Europe and suggests a roadmap for the way forward.
In the Black Book of Bioenergy, we present a graphic visualisation of bioenergy’s dark side – one that casts a long shadow over our efforts to tackle climate change and preserve the planet.
While some may already be familiar with the news-grabbing horror stories from Indonesia (mass clearing of tropical forests for palm oil plantations) or the USA (forest devastation in the Southern states for the lucrative pellet industry), most people will be astonished to hear that similar scenarios are playing out right here in Europe – from the forests of Eastern Slovakia and the maize field of Lower Saxony (Germany) to the riverbanks of Emilia Romagna (Italy) and the shores of the Canary Islands. The Black Book puts the spotlight on 8 such cases – all of which take place in Europe or are directly linked to European commercial or domestic markets.
Banner photo: © BirdLife Europe and Central Asia