The European Union has set ambitious goals for its renewable energy portfolio in order to drastically reduce emissions by 2030. However, the current version of its plan essentially allows for the deforestation and burning of trees, as a coal alternative, in order to produce energy. A recent report published in The Guardian, co-authored by ERG Professor Dan Kammen, explains:
“European producers of wood products have for decades generated electricity and heat as beneficial by-products, using wood wastes and limited forest residues. Most of this material would decompose and release carbon dioxide in a few years anyway, so using them to displace fossil fuels can reduce the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere in a few years too. Unfortunately, the directive moving through parliament would go beyond wastes and residues and credit countries and companies for cutting down additional trees simply to burn them for energy. To do so has fundamentally different consequences because the carbon released into the air would otherwise stay locked up in forests.”
Read the full article here.
Featured image: David Cheskin/PA