Europe is trying to make sustainable decisions now for their current and future biodiversity goals. Biomass is playing a huge role in these decisions. Keep reading for more.
Biomass Plays Key Role in EU’s Biodiversity Strategy
According to the Industrial Pellet Association, sustainable biomass will play an integral role in achieving Europe’s carbon reduction goals, as well as its biodiversity goals. The European Commission has been clear about its vision and intent to combat climate change and the loss of biodiversity—they have in place a multi-step legislative process designed to unfold over the next few years.
In the last ten years, sustainable biomass has made big contributions toward current 2020 emissions targets. By displacing millions of tons of coal, and preserving forest habitats, it’s played a significant role in 2020 biodiversity goals as well. Forests in the United States Southeast are a great example of success in this area, as forest cover has increased 21% since the year 2000. This particular growth has happened alongside U.S. Industrial Pellet Association members producing substantial quantities of renewable fuel for EU Member States. This is because creating markets for wood products leads to sustainable forests, which leads to thriving biodiversity.
The Biodiversity Strategy aims to minimize the use of certain feedstock categories for biomass as well, including whole trees. The biomass industry only sources what other forest product users don’t want, which includes lower-value whole trees. This sustainable practice is congruent with the principle of using wood fiber for its greatest climate benefit. The markets are making sure that the biomass industry doesn’t buy high-quality wood fiber to make end products that have permanent carbon storage—like mass timber, telephone poles, and furniture. Legislation like the REDII guarantees that biomass is not only sourced sustainably, but also has no negative impacts on forest ecosystems.
The U.S. Industrial Pellet Association looks forward to continuing to discuss these important matters, and continuing to work with partners and EU leaders to make sure there’s a stable supply of low-carbon energy to displace fossil fuels and preserve our forests.
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