Europe and Central Asia

BirdLife Europe & Central Asia Reaction - 6 June 2017

Sustaining the ‘Clean Dream’: ENVI Committee draft report on bioenergy sustainability – BirdLife Europe & Central Asia reaction

BirdLife Europe and Central Asia welcomes the draft report of the Parliament’s ENVI Committee on bioenergy sustainability in the Renewable Energy Directive. It marks a significant improvement on the European Commission’s original proposal that neglected substantial sustainability concerns on bioenergy.

This report is an excellent starting point as it recognizes that only actual wastes and residues from forestry and forest industries should be used for energy. Regardless of whether or not harvested trees carry sustainability certificates, they should still not be used directly for energy, as is increasingly happening thanks to our current renewable energy policies. The Commission’s proposal would have simply given a green-washed label to these kinds of damaging practices.

BirdLife also welcomes the proposal to halt financial support for the use of food and feed crops for biofuels, or indeed for biogas, which is currently vastly produced from maize. More ambition is, however, needed to bring the current use of food and feed crops for energy down to zero by 2030.

The report makes a clear call to scale down electricity-only production from biomass which is often inherently inefficient. In most cases, 2/3 of biomass’ energy content is lost in the process. In the worst cases, biomass is burned for electricity together with fossil fuels. We welcome the report’s call to support only pure renewable energy production, without fossil fuels.

Sini Eräjää, EU bioenergy policy officer: “Altogether it’s great to see this report calling for more ambition in renewable energy while making clear that increasing efforts need to be put in other sources of renewable energy than biomass, such as solar and wind for electricity or heat pumps and new technologies for heating.”

For further information, please contact:
Sini Eräjää, EU bioenergy policy officer
BirdLife Europe & Central Asia
+32 (0)476 975 960

Please see Joint NGO Briefing: Ensuring bioenergy comes clean in the Clean Energy Package


Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.