Fern submission to EU Consultation: “A sustainable bioenergy policy for the period after 2020”

December 8, 2017

As the European Commission closes its public consultation on the future of the EU’s bioenergy policy, the steps necessary to end its current disastrous impacts are highlighted in our consultation response.


Fern calls upon the EU to:

  • End subsidies for burning woody biomass that is directly harvested from forests, and restrict the amount of biomass that EU Member States can use towards their Renewable Energy Source (RES) targets to levels that can be sustainably supplied.

  • Only allow bioenergy to be counted towards renewable energy targets when robust greenhouse gas emissions savings have been proven, and correctly account for bioenergy emissions. This could be done by restricting certain feedstocks.

  • Ensure that wood is not burned for energy when it can still serve other purposes, hence ensuring the policy doesn’t counter objectives of a ‘circular economy’. 

  • Implement strict and binding sustainability criteria to avoid impacts on the environment and people, while making sure the burden of proof lies with the energy operator and compliance with criteria can be verified in concrete situations.

Fern's bioenergy campaign, Linde Zuidema, said “In 2009, we got it wrong. The EU’s bioenergy policy has led to increasing land- and resource use, and only for the production of a small portion of energy and not for carbon reductions per se. It is high time the EU comes to its senses on this.”

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