EU should stop burning forests for energy: our recommendations for the EU Parliament’s ITRE Committee
On July 13, the European Parliament’s Industry committee (ITRE) is voting on their amendments to the new version of the Renewable Energy Directive, which is the directive that regulates how, and which renewable energy is subsidized.
This vote will have far reaching consequences for European forests. Until now, the old version of the directive invites Member States to subsidize the production of energy by logging and burning their forests. A nonsensical practice in the context of the climate and biodiversity crisis.
The MEPs decision will determine the future of our forests: voting for more subsidies for bioenergy will increase the pressure on EU forests, already damaged by over-logging. About half of the forest harvest is already burned for energy.
Earlier in the year the parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) recommended to end support for the burning of virgin wood.
Now, we are asking the ITRE committee to support ENVI’s recommendation and to enshrine the “cascading principle” (= prioritising material use of wood over burning it) in the legislation.
We believe our forests must remain standing to support vital biodiversity and keep CO2 sequestered to help EU climate goals. The annual €12 billion of subsidies for bioenergy should instead be invested in real renewables like solar, wind, and geothermal.
Our voting recommendations for the ITRE vote on RED
The EU needs to protect and restore forests, for people, for biodiversity and for the climate – not log them for energy. MEPs, please vote to protect our future: