Forestry and agricultural trade bodies urge MEPs to maximise potential of forest bioenergy in EU vote
Nine European forestry and agricultural organisations urge MEPs to ensure that the role of forest bioenergy to decarbonize Europe is not hindered when they vote January 17 on an EU Commission proposal on the promotion of renewable energy sources (RES).
Representing European forest owners and managers, farmers and their cooperatives, the sawmill industry, forest workers, contractors and professionals, signatories from nine European forestry and agricultural organisations sent a joint letter to MEP’s earlier this week outlining their demands ahead of today’s vote.
The Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), European Farmers and European Agri-Cooperatives (Copa & Cogeca), European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR), European Landowners Association (ELO), European Confederation of Agricultural, Rural and Forestry Contractors (CEETTAR), European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA), European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS), Union of European Foresters (UEF) and Union of Foresters of Southern Europe (USSE) point out that forests and the forest-based sector play a significant role in tackling climate change by helping to decarbonize Europe to reach its post-2020 climate and energy targets, whilst also boosting growth and jobs in EU rural areas.
Sustainably grown EU forests are an important piece in the puzzle of renewable energy. For example, advanced biofuels are one of the solutions to ensure a more climate-friendly transport sector. It is important that the EU Commission proposal on the promotion of renewable energy sources (RES) does not hinder this.
In particular, the nine organisations collectively call for:
- All types of wood biomass to be included in the RES Directive as a renewable raw material for biofuels, heat and power, depending on the market context and as deemed appropriate by operators across the forestry value chain, otherwise sustainable forest management (SFM) and related investments might be undermined;
- Cascade use of woody biomass should remain a voluntary principle. If embedded into EU legislation, it would hinder resource efficiency and innovation, creating excessive red tape and impacting negatively on the market;
- Promotion of efficient use of resources and assurance that the use of waste and residues is not restricted in biofuel production;
- Assurance that products like pulpwood and tall oil remain on the list in Annex IX of the proposal.