100 charities urge the EU to end use of biofuel as 'renewable' energy

Europe Materials 8 October 2021 21:29 (UTC +04:00)
100 charities urge the EU to end use of biofuel as 'renewable' energy

A network of over 100 NGOs is calling on the European Union to end the use of biofuel as renewable energy, Trend reports citing Euronews.

The Forest Defenders Alliance (FDA), an initiative to amplify the voices of NGOs in Europe and in countries with forests that are threatened by EU policies, wants Brussels to protect forests, rather than encourage more logging in order to produce biomass fuel that is burned in power plants.

The EU counts biomass fuel as a zero-carbon renewable energy, but environmentalists want it to be excluded from this criteria due to the fact that burning wood emits more carbon pollution than burning coal and regrowing trees, which NGOs say takes decades to centuries to offset the pollution.

The EU still doesn't have a clear position on the issue, which Finnish MEP Nils Torvalds explains as being because it is a booming industry.

The FDA also wants to end subsidies for countries that encourage deforestation as part of the bloc's Renewable Energy Directive.

But with more than 70 per cent of their territories covered by forests, Finland and Sweden are leading the charge in Europe to keep the nearly €6 billion per year subsidy on biofuel production.

NGOs have called on the EU institutions to discuss the issue during the Brussels Biomass Action Week in mid-November.