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Reasons to change the zero-rated criteria for biomass in the EU ETS

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This study is published to co-inside with the European Commission's public consultation on revising the EU emissions trading system (ETS) for the period 2021-2030. The current EU ETS only accounts for smokestack emissions but erroneously rates the carbon emissions of biomass burning at zero. The study reviews the current use of biomass under the EU ETS and proposes steps to ensure that biomass use is only incentivised when it delivers real GHG emissions reductions.

Bioenergy: a carbon accounting time bomb

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The European Union established a 20% target for renewable energy use by 2020 and a 10% target for renewables in the transport sector by 2020. Bioenergy, including solid biomass and waste, is expected to represent 60% of the EU’s renewable energy use and biofuels is expected to cover most of the 10% renewable energy use in transport.