October 19th is the International Day of Action on Bioenergy, a day to raise awareness about the impacts of the growing bioenergy industry driven by unwisely designed renewable energy policies. As we know, in many cases bioenergy hasn’t exactly lived up to the promises of renewable energy such as emission reductions and environmental protection – in many cases the impacts have been quite the opposite.
Some of the world’s most valuable forests are still being destroyed in order to make palm oil, of which a considerable portion ends up as biodiesel for use on Europe’s roads. That is the striking message from an investigation by a global alliance of NGOs, including T&E, that has uncovered horrific deforestation in Indonesia’s pristine rainforest in the remote province of Papua.
We all agree that bioenergy used as part of the transition to move to an energy system based on renewables needs to be sustainable. By now, most of us already recognize that not all bioenergy is necessarily sustainable. Looking at ongoing environmental impacts on forests and agricultural landscapes due to increased logging or more intensive management, looking at rights of communities dependent on land cleared for bioenergy crops, looking at actual emission savings achieved… not all bioenergy is beneficial.
European Court of Auditors slams Commission’s scheme for sustainability of biofuels The European Court of Auditors, an independent EU body that keeps an eye on the performance of EU spending, just published a special report on the sustainability of biofuels in the EU. The report straightforwardly concludes that the way the EU has been proving […]
The film ‘Threatened forests’ reveals the hidden truth behind “green energy” in the EU. It’s being shown on EUBioenergy.com right now, a moment when the European Commission is consulting stakeholders on sustainable bioenergy policy. Filmmaker Benoit Grimont made this documentary because he was struck by the regional opposition, socio-economic and environmental impacts caused by the development […]
By Sini Eräjää, Policy Officer EU Bioenergy, Birdlife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau As our fact-finding mission in the US to witness firsthand the origins and impacts of bioenergy being supplied to the EU came to an end, we drew some conclusions. We then went to Washington D.C. to share what we learned about […]
By guest author Linde Zuidema, Bioenergy Campaigner, Fern “Communities were not informed nor consulted about this wood pellet facility, the process was everything but transparent. All is decided behind closed doors, and all they tell us is lies, lies, lies. The County claims it doesn’t have money to put a new roof on the school, […]
By Sini Eräjää, Policy Officer EU Bioenergy, Birdlife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau “There are still some trees down here but there’s all the time less forests” said a shopkeeper in the town of Ahoskie in North Carolina. He was sitting in front of his shop while the smokestacks of a pellet mill owned by […]
By Sini Eräjää, Policy Officer EU Bioenergy, Birdlife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau I never would have thought that in the early days of the EU’s efforts to increase renewable energy use that working in this field would take me to forests along the southern US coast. What do European renewable energy policies have to do with […]
By guest authors Mohammad Abdel-Razek, Jan Henke, Pascal Ripplinger, GRAS Global Risk Assessment Services GmbH The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledges that “bioenergy has a significant greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential, provided that the resources are developed sustainably”. True, the only way bioenergy should be allowed to contribute to climate protection is if […]