Bioenergy, forestry sectors jump on EU’s green finance bandwagon

(EurActiv, 23 Oct 2019) Bioenergies, including wood, biofuels and forest-based industries, should be recognised under the EU’s draft sustainable finance taxonomy, in line with the recently-updated renewable energy directive, an industry coalition has claimed.

The EU’s draft taxonomy for green finance is “undermined by significant divergences” with the EU’s renewable energy directive, according to a joint statement by ten industry associations involved in the forestry and bioenergy sectors.

“This lack of coherence casts a shadow over the likelihood of achieving long-term EU climate and energy goals,” the coalition warns.

The statement was published on Wednesday (23 October) by a coalition of ten industry groups: Bioenergy Europe (bioenergy industries), CEPF (forest owners), CEPI (paper industries), COGEN Europe (cogeneration industry), Copa-Cogeca (farmers and agri-cooperatives), EBA (biogas producers), EOS (sawmill industry), ePURE (ethanol producers), Euroheat & Power (district heating), and EUstafor (forest managers).

At the heart of their demand are sustainability criteria for biomass, which are set out in the EU’s renewable energy directive but aren’t reflected in the EU’s green finance taxonomy.

The taxonomy “should mirror the sustainability requirements agreed in the Renewable Energy Directive,” which was updated in 2018 after two years of negotiation, the industry coalition claims.

Sustainability criteria aim at discouraging farmers from growing energy crops instead of food, a phenomenon known as indirect land use change, or ILUC, which is blamed for pushing up food prices and causing deforestation in places like Indonesia and Malaysia.

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EurActiv, 23 Oct 2019: Bioenergy, forestry sectors jump on EU’s green finance bandwagon