HomeEurope NewsEuropean Union executives accused of sacrificing forests – EURACTIV.com

European Union executives accused of sacrificing forests – EURACTIV.com

The European Commission was accused of “sacrificing forests” after announcing a proposal to allow continued burning of trees as fuel. Reported by EURACTIV’s media partner, The Guardian.

On Friday, the European Commission announced its forest strategy, which includes a goal of planting 3 billion trees across the EU by 2030.

The forest strategy is Broader plans for climate and natural emergencies And put the EU on the target of reducing emissions by 55% by the end of this decade Legal advice Called “Fit 55”.

Activists say the committee has not done enough to tighten regulations on wood that can be used as fuel. The updated draft of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive proposes to prohibit the biomass industry from obtaining wood from “virgin forests”-ancient forests that are almost undamaged, accounting for only 3% of all forests in the EU.

The committee stated that in the next layer of “highly biodiversity forests”, biomass timber will be restricted, “to ensure that it does not interfere with the purpose of nature conservation.” In general, “the use of the entire tree for energy production, whether from the EU or imported, should be minimized,” and subsidies for tree stumps and root biomass will be gradually eliminated.

Lina Burnelius, head of the Protect the Forest Sweden project, said that the committee failed to address one of the key drivers of forest degradation-treating forest biomass as a renewable energy source. “Suitable for 55 years old is harmful to forests and not enough to deal with climate change. We urgently need honest policies to include all our emissions into statistics.”

She said that the European Commission chose to “sacrifice forests instead of acknowledging that the current EU bioenergy policy is making the climate crisis worse.” “Enough burning. We can’t just switch from burning one climatically catastrophic fuel to another.”

Burning wood to generate electricity Release more carbon into the atmosphere than natural gas or coalMany scientists have expressed doubts about the promise of planting trees to pay off all aspects of the “carbon debt.” Paris Climate Agreement.

Earlier this year, more than 500 scientists wrote to European Commission President Ursula von der Lein and other world leaders, calling on them to stop all subsidies for wood burning. “Replanting trees and replacing fossil fuels may eventually repay this carbon debt, but it will take time to re-grow, and the world does not have to solve the climate change problem,” the organization said. letter, And its signatories include Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the former vice chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “For climate and biodiversity, trees are more valuable to live than to die.”

In response to the “Guardian”, the European Commissioner for Environment Virginijus Sinkevičius stated that the EU strategy clearly stipulates that “whole forests” should be avoided for biomass. “Our goal is very clear: forests must play an important role in contributing to our Fit for 55 goal, contributing to 55% of our [emissions-reduction] the goal. “

He suggested that “most” EU member states would not burn entire trees for biomass, “because it makes no sense economically”. Instead, he said, biomass producers “usually” use parts of trees that “have not been used anywhere else”, while the entire wood is “used in the value chain for products that actually store carbon for longer periods of time”.

recent report A report from the European Commission’s Scientific Advisor shows that 49% of the EU’s wood bioenergy comes from residues and waste generated during logging and wood processing, such as twigs and sawdust. Another 37% comes from “low-quality” stems (trunks) and immature trees felled for forest management, while 14% of the biomass comes from unknown sources. Researchers suspect that these sources are trees, not waste wood.

According to the EU’s goal of generating energy from renewable sources, the demand for biomass has surged over the past two decades.

Sini Eräjää of Greenpeace stated that demand for biomass has been driving timber mining. She said that the “adjustment” proposed by the committee to protect a small part of EU forest land “will enable the industry to extract more wood from any other forest, which is of course bad for the climate”.

The final version of the law must be approved by the governments of the European Union and members of the European Parliament.

This article Originally appeared in the Guardian And republished here with permission.

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