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The Guardian: Burning forests for energy isn’t ‘renewable’ – now the EU must admit it

Protect the Forest, Fridays for Future Sweden, Europe Beyond Burning, Sámi activists and other NGOs write in the Guardian (September 5, 2022):

The EU’s classification of wood fuels is accelerating the climate crisis. Next week, a key vote can change that.

A burnt clear-cut in Sweden. Photo: Private.

Next week the future of many of the world’s forests will be decided when members of the European parliament vote on a revised EU renewable energy directive. If the parliament fails to change the EU’s discredited and harmful renewables policy, European citizens’ tax money will continue to pay for forests around the globe to literally go up in smoke every day.

Europe’s directly elected representatives now have to choose: they can either save the EU’s “climate targets” with their legislative loopholes or they can begin saving our climate, because right now, that is not what EU targets are working towards.

Increasing volumes of wood pellets and other wood fuels are being imported from outside the EU to satisfy Europe’s growing appetite for burning forests for energy. This is an appetite that the existing EU renewable energy directive incentivises. It does this by classifying forest biomass on paper as zero-carbon emissions when in reality, burning forest biomass will produce higher emissions than fossil fuels during the coming decisive decades.

The interlinked crises of wars and rising food and energy prices underline the urgent need for policies that enable energy saving and energy efficiency, and the importance of decarbonising the EU’s energy sector. It should be obvious that decarbonising can only be done by using non-carbon energy sources. It is critical to phase out fossil fuels, but the energy sources we replace them with are just as important.

Read the full article in the Guardian here.