Burning forests to make energy: EU and world grapple with biomass science

(Eco Business, 23 Aug 2021) A major political and environmental dispute is coming to a boil in the run-up to COP26 in Scotland this November, as the European Union and the forestry industry claim the science shows biomass is sustainable and produces zero emissions.

The European Commission won widespread praise in July when it released details fleshing out its climate change mitigation plan as part of the European Union’s Green Deal. The announcement highlighted pathways by which the 27-nation bloc plans to cut its carbon emissions 55 per cent by 2030 over a 1990 baseline, with carbon neutrality achieved by 2050 — making Europe the first continent to do so.

Taking this step, the EU is clearly positioning itself for a global leadership role in the run-up to the United Nations COP26 climate summit scheduled for November in Scotland, when more aggressive national commitments to reduce emissions made since the 2015 Paris Agreement will finally be put into action.

The EU in July modeled to the world what it sees as aggressive climate action: a roadmap that includes a phaseout of fossil fuels used to produce energy in nine years; a ban on the production of gas- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035; a tax on carbon-intensive imports; and a requirement that 38.5 per cent of all energy come from renewable sources by 2030 (it’s already at 38 per cent). European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen has defined the European Green Deal as “Europe’s man on the moon moment.

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Eco Business, 23 Aug 2021: Burning forests to make energy: EU and world grapple with biomass science