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EU to propose mandatory biomass sustainability criteria

October 10, 2012, Berlin, DE — The European Commission will make proposals to implement Europe-wide sustainability criteria for solid biomass, but how the proposals will look and when they will be implemented it still undecided, according to the International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy (IINAS).


October 10, 2012
By Argus Media

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Formal discussions and consultation on the proposals will likely begin next year following an announcement from the commission which is expected before the end of the year, IINAS scientific director and co-founder Uwe Fritsche said at the 12th Industry Forum Pellets in Berlin on 9 October. He was speaking on the behalf of the commission's head of bioenergy Giulio Volpi.

“Europe is just one market for biomass, so even if there are different individual opinions on sustainability there is a need to come up with something unified,” Fritsche said. “The commission is looking to take the sustainability criteria for biofuels as a starting point and then extend these to include solid biomass. But how the proposals will look is still open.”

The decision, which was expected at the beginning of 2012, follows a broad stakeholder consultation during 2011 to find out whether participants supported binding over non-binding sustainability criteria.

The commission confirmed last year that “the majority” of stakeholders are in favour of binding sustainability criteria, after analysing the results of its stakeholder consultation.

There are more than 55 national regulations on biomass sustainability at present.

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