By Kenneth Richter, Bioenergy consultant at BirdLife Europe & Central Asia At 4:00am on June 14 exhausted negotiators of the EU Parliament and European Council agreed on a new framework for renewable energy – the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) – for the time between 2020 and 2030. Despite best efforts by the Parliament (credit to negotiator […]
By Sasha Stashwick, senior advocate with the Climate & Clean Energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Kenneth Richter, Bioenergy consultant at BirdLife Europe & Central Asia and NRDC. While Donald Trump has mocked the reality of climate change, EU leaders like to think of Europe as a global front-runner in reducing […]
By Adam Colette, Program Director at Dogwood Alliance. Over the past several months, the European Union has spent huge amounts of time debating the impacts the bioenergy industry. Parliamentarians have heard loud and clear from their colleagues, scientists and civil society that burning forests for fuel is bad for our climate, forests, and communities. Yet, […]
A Dirty Day for the Commission’s Clean Dream By Sini Eräjää, EU Bioenergy Policy Officer, Birdlife Europe and Central Asia and the European Environmental Bureau. The Commission’s Clean Energy package, launched today, proudly boasts of finally introducing sustainability requirements for all forms of bioenergy – something many NGOs have been repeatedly calling for over the […]
Leaked Renewable Energy Directive fails the test on bioenergy By Sini Eräjää, EU Bioenergy Policy Officer, Birdlife Europe and Central Asia and the European Environmental Bureau. Negotiations in the European Commission about new legislation on renewable energy are gearing up. Leaks of the negotiated text earlier this week in the press (e.g. ENDS and Politico) […]
When it comes to the sustainability of Europe’s bioenergy use, the scale of it is absolutely crucial. There are sustainable biomass sources that we can and should use for energy, but there’s only a limited amount of them available.
Across the Southern United States, natural disasters have steadily increased in number and severity, causing loss of life and billions of dollars in damage. It’s clear that the impacts of global climate change are happening here and now. At this very moment Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on the Southeastern coastline, forcing communities in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to evacuate.
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.
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.
Rural development and helping farmers has been a motive to promote bioenergy on the premise that it offers new economic opportunities in rural communities while increasing renewable energy use. The reality is that a good share of the bioenergy pushed for this purpose hasn’t necessarily supported these rural communities, nor has it exactly been sustainable or renewable. Spanish NGO Ecologistas en Accion share their views on how bioenergy can be an environmentally sustainable choice while supporting rural communities.