No rules yet, but opposition mounts anyway
August 21, 2013, Simcoe, Ont - The official draft sustainability rules surrounding biomass are not even out yet in the EU and already conservation groups are up in arms, in some cases appearing to favour a continued reliance on fossil fuels.
By Scott Jamieson
In a report in Reuters, response to a supposed leaked draft has been swift and negative.
Draft proposals to regulate the
use of biomass to generate energy, critics say, place the
European Union on track to repeat the mistakes it made in its
policy on biofuels, increasingly seen as doing more harm than
good. A draft version of a Commission proposal seen by Reuters
details sustainability criteria for biomass.
They include a minimum greenhouse gas savings of 60 per cent
compared with fossil fuel, avoiding producing raw material in
areas of high biodiversity and harmonised accounting rules to
prevent each member state setting different standards. The proposals also link allowing government financial
support to meeting the Commission's proposed criteria. Early criticism appears to centre around differing views on the carbon cycle (the starting point in measuring bioenergy's carbon footprint) as well as ILUC.
"Biofuels are really just the tip of the bioenergy iceberg.
With current biomass policies unchanged, we are likely to meet
our renewable energy target while increasing rather than
decreasing emissions," Ariel Brunner, head of EU policy at
BirdLife International, told Reuters.
Quite naturally, no one of authority in the EU or industry is commenting on drafts that do not yet officially exist.