Two new independent scientific studies launched today cast further doubt on the EU’s policy of promoting biomass as fuel for heat and power generation, and biofuels for transport,  according to BirdLife International, the European Environmental Bureau and Transport & Environment.
This study, carried out by Joanneum Research, identifies a major flaw in the way carbon savings from forest-derived biomass are calculated in EU law
as well as under UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol mechanisms.
Until a few years ago biofuels were considered a robust option for reducing CO2 emissions. However, over the past few years much evidence has emerged that this thinking is only part of the story and that it does not capture the full climate impact of biofuels.
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.
The average performance of light commercial vehicles has increased during the last
decades. Due to this enhanced performance, the achieved levels of fuel consumption
and CO2 emission reductions are smaller than the engine efficiency improvements
realized in the same period. A possible way to realize this full potential is by
The Commission has published its guidance on the sustainability and certification of biofuels, which it hopes will stop the loss of credibility in the EU’s biofuels policy. But the new guidelines for the sustainability of biofuels production still do not take indirect land-use change into account, which experts and campaign groups say is the most crucial issue.
A group of NGOs, including T&E, has sent an open letter to EU president Herman van Rompuy, on the eve of the European Council on 17-18 June, pointing out how investing in a green economy could help the EU overcome the economic crisis.