News Digest Item
16 Jan 2018

EU should rethink its support to tree burning to protect climate – guest commentary

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The EU’s plan to allow fuel from felled trees to qualify as renewable energy could accelerate climate change, writes Felix Creutzig of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) in a guest commentary in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. It makes sense to count woody debris as regenerative biomass. However, using tree trunks creates an incentive to clear complete forests, and the argument that forests absorb a sufficient amount of CO₂ emissions during their growth has been proven wrong in several scientific studies, writes Creutzig. Trees need decades to absorb sizeable amounts of CO₂, and wood that is burned emits more CO₂ than coal per generated kilowatt hour of electricity.

Read the guest commentary in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier Bioenergy in Germany, and the factsheet Bioenergy in Germany – facts and figures on development, support and investment.

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