Biomass fight leaves EU renewable energy talks in a deadlock

(EurActiv, 16 Feb 2023) The European Commission made an unsuccessful attempt to bridge divisions over forest biomass between the Parliament and EU countries during talks held earlier this week to revise the EU’s renewable energy directive.

Lawmakers in the European Parliament backed plans in September to exclude “primary woody biomass” from the EU’s renewable energy targets, arguing that Europe needs to regrow its carbon sinks in the fight against climate change.

That raises concern among EU member countries, which support a looser definition allowing them to make decisions based on local circumstances.

“On biomass specifically, member states were generally reluctant towards the proposal of the Parliament on the definition of ‘primary wood biomass’,” said an EU institution official with knowledge of the discussion.

Instead, EU countries suggested limiting the definition of primary woody biomass to “quality roundwood,” in line with the ‘cascading principle’ which allocates biomass in priority to wood-based products with the highest economic value.

“Member states have been clear that the new definition of ‘primary woody biomass’ according to the EP’s proposal is not acceptable,” says a paper from the Swedish presidency of the EU Council, representing the bloc’s 27 member states in the negotiation.

External link

EurActiv, 16 Feb 2023: Biomass fight leaves EU renewable energy talks in a deadlock