BirdLife's position on the Bioenergy Policy
The Renewable Energy Directive is key to strong EU action on Climate Change. Without a meaningful Directive the EU will fail a significant part of its commitment to a post-Kyoto global deal on climate change.
It is essential, achievable and necessary that the Renewable Energy Directive does not cause wider ecosystem damage and contribute to climate change itself.
Key BirdLife principles and recommendations on the EU Bioenergy Policy:
- We strongly support the 20% renewable energy target, and see this as an essential component in the fight against climate change
- The 10% mandatory target on transport should be dropped from the Renewable Energy Directive until it can be shown that the targets can be met in a truly sustainable manner, taking into account the latest science and evidence on direct and indirect environmental and social impacts of biofuel policy and production.
- Measures to meet targets must not harm ecosystems and contribute to the current global biodiversity crisis.
- Measures must contribute to GHG emissions targets, not hinder them. The minimum GHG emissions savings should be set of 60% compared to fossil fuels for biofuels and even higher for other biomass applications, taking into account direct and indirect land-use change and emissions from nitrogen fertilizer use.
- A new and robust calculation methodology that includes possible indirect land use change caused by new production on biofuels should be put in place.
- Environmental safeguards must be put in place for ALL renewable energy developments in particular concerning the impacts on natural resources, biodiversity and other environmental and social impacts. The entire biomass chain must be considered including transportation and storage, type of biomass production, chain of custody and trading conditions.
- A robust and verifiable system of certification should be implemented for all bioenergy ( not just biofuels) based on these standards.
- A list of feedstocks that do not cause land use change should be created.
- Measures aimed at reducing emission in the transport sector that have fewer sustainability concerns and higher levels of greenhouse gas emission saving such as managing demand for travel and improved vehicle efficiency should be more actively promoted.
- A reduction approach of greenhouse gas emission on transport fuels must be taken through the emission reduction mechanism currently proposed in the Fuel Quality Directive i.e. setting a greenhouse gas reduction target that takes into account the full life-cycle of the fuel, rather that setting volume or energy-based targets. The contribution of biofuels to the achievement of such targets should be kept at a sustainable level and linked to the above-mentioned sustainability standards.
BirdLife's work related to biofuels:
Fuelling the ecological crisis - six examples of habitat destruction driven by biofuels May 2008
BirdLife press releases:
RSPB (UK) - Biofuels
Next Page » Cautions to further biofuels development