Concern expressed over EC consultation on climate change target

Areal view of Romanian logged landscape
Romania’s new landscape. What message does EU wood bioenergy policy send to Bolsonaro about the Amazon rainforest?
(Andrei Ciurcanu, Agent Green)

A collective representation organized by Wild Europe in partnership with Birdlife International, expresses widely held concerns that the current EC consultation on the 2030 climate targets is misleading, and could end up undermining the mitigation of climate change.

It has been signed by 49 organisations across Europe in little over 48 hours.

The EC consultation questionnaire, which aims to collate opinion for developing energy and climate policies, effectively encourages agreement to more ambitious targets for greenhouse gas reduction in 2030 with greater use of renewable energy to achieve these. 

The representation agrees such aims are laudable and likely to be widely supported. However it points out that the questionnaire makes no distinction between alternative renewable sources, and no direct provision for feedback on this crucial issue. 

There is thus a real possibility of respondents who oppose bioenergy – especially wood bioenergy – inadvertently supporting its increased use.

As proven by successive scientific reports, wood bioenergy is the least energy efficient source. It is not carbon neutral, actively worsening climate change by generating much higher carbon emissions per unit of energy than other forms of renewable energy or even gas – as well as destroying very large tracts of forest.

The EC risks undermining its own targets

The representation calls on the Commission to take this issue fully into account in assessing feedback from the Questionnaire, and to devise alternative provision for accurate collation of opinion. 

Otherwise the Commission risks the paradox of undermining its own targets.

The next step will be to support a coordinated campaign for reallocation of the 7 billion + Euros wasted annually towards genuine renewable energy, together with restoration of large-scale carbon rich natural habitats and other effective means of addressing climate change such as improved insulation, recycling and emission control technology.