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Energy ministers call on MEPs to vote for a future with bioenergy

Ahead of the upcoming European Parliament’s vote on the revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), Sweden's Minister for Policy Coordination and Energy, Ibrahim Baylan and Finland's Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing, Kimmo Tiilikainen have sent a joint letter to MEPs urging parliamentarians to vote for new rules that allow bioenergy to continue making crucial contributions to the EU's climate and energy goals.

Ibrahim Baylan, Sweden’s Minister for Energy, has been appointed Chairman of the IEA in 2017.

Ibrahim Baylan, Sweden’s Minister for Policy Coordination and Energy.

Sent to MEPs ahead of next week’s vote, the jointly signed letter from the two Nordic energy ministers is part of the Swedish effort to promote good terms and conditions for sustainable bioenergy. Bioenergy accounts for two-thirds of all renewable energy in the EU and is a crucial issue for Sweden’s ability to achieve its ambitions in the climate and energy areas.

In the letter, the ministers highlight the leading positions both countries have in the EU in terms of climate commitments, non-Emissions Trading System (ETS) targets for 2030 and current Renewable Energy Directive (RED) implementation where forests and sustainable bioenergy have and continue to play a critical role.

Sweden has a legally binding target to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2045 and Finland’s Climate Change Act sets a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of at least 80 percent by 2050, compared to 1990. In the midterm climate policy plan for Finland setting down a carbon-neutrality target for 2045 is foreseen.

– Sweden has been working very actively for a long time in Brussels for a proposal that ensures that bioenergy is sustainable and can continue to contribute to climate goals, jobs and entrepreneurship. I am pleased that Sweden and Finland can do this together, said Minister Baylan.

Next week’s vote is an important step towards the final negotiations on the prerequisites for sustainable bioenergy. Following the vote of the European Parliament scheduled for January 17, tripartite negotiations will take place between 2018, between the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the EU Commission on the final legislative texts.

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