Birdlife International questions sustainability of biomass

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Birdlife International questions sustainability of biomass

Birdlife International has published an article questioning the practice of labelling the generation of energy by burning trees in biomass power plants as 'sustainable'.

Birdlife International is a consortium of environmental organisations that looks to protect "nature and people" with its conservation work, with a "unique local and global approach". Its article entitled 'Holding On To The EU's Climate Ambition?' talks about how EU member states sometimes bend the rules to allow them to continue with questionable practices that can actually contribute to climate change, despite ongoing commitments from the EU to reduce emissions.

The article states: "A last resort to avoid committing to the task of emission reductions seems to be to label as sustainable the activities under scrutiny – no matter the actual climate and environmental implications.

"For example, as the Commission prepares a new policy on the sustainability of bioenergy, many have rushed to declare that as long as biomass comes from 'sustainably' managed forests or other ecosystems, then it is good for the climate as well."

In reality, the millions of tonnes of timber shipped and burned in European biomass plants, is creating a carbon debt and, a plethora of research, questions just how ‘sustainable’ this practice really is. Through the Use Wood Wisely campaign we hope to encourage the responsible use of timber where embedded carbon stays locked for several decades rather than adding to the climate issues.