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Sustainable bioenergy production in Europe could be tripled by 2050

Ahead of COP24, review of current data on biomass potential confirms that bioenergy is a key solution for climate change mitigation. The amount of domestically available biomass for bioenergy in Europe can be tripled within sustainable and environmental limits and at a reasonable cost, according to a newly published research paper.

According to a new paper, sustainable bioenergy production in Europe could be tripled by 2050 and it is agriculture that plays a central role with the potential to become at least as important for energy as forest biomass.

As attention focuses on the urgency of fighting climate change at the COP24 meeting beginning this week, new research confirms what has just been highlighted in the EU’s new long-term strategy for decarbonization: biomass has a prominent role to play in a net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions economy.

Bioenergy represents one of the most important solutions to achieve a balance between emissions and removals by 2050. Versatile and flexible, bioenergy can help drastically cut carbon emissions throughout different sectors: transport, heating and electricity production.

The availability of sustainable biomass is a decisive factor to determine the contribution of bioenergy to the 2050 energy mix and where agriculture plays a central role.

According to a new paper “Securing sustainable resource availability of biomass for energy applications in Europe; review of recent literature by Prof. Dr. André Faaij of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, to achieve the potential by 2050, the energy contribution of agricultural biomass will need to increase significantly and become at least as important as that of energy from forest biomass.

Based on the findings of the literature review, Bioenergy Europe, a European biomass advocacy trade body previously known as AEBIOM, calls upon the parties of the Paris Agreement to emphasise the synergies between the use of different types of bioenergy, climate adaptation measures, environmental protection and the deployment of a wider bioeconomy in the conclusions of the COP24 talks.

“The literature review offers an opportunity for decision-makers at COP24 to take into account the potential of bioenergy, one of the most viable solutions to maintaining global warming to the recommended level of +1.5°C by 2050. Discussions in Katowice must now focus on finding ways to transform our economies for the upcoming challenge of climate change,” said Jean-Marc Jossart, Secretary-General Bioenergy Europe, here seen during the 2018 European Bioenergy Future Conference in Hanover, Germany.

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