Banning the use of primary woody biomass as a raw material would eliminate 20% of energy from the EU renewable energy mix! All sustainable renewables are part of the solution! Bioenergy is essential for a green future.
Shouldn’t we leave all the wood in the forest? On the contrary, leaving too much unnecessary residue on the ground can increase risks for the forest. Climate change is already impacting the health of our ecosystem, and the soaring temperatures that Europe is experiencing (combined with drought-like conditions) mean that forests will continue to be under increasing pressure. The 2022 fire season is already shaping up to be worse than last year’s, which was an above-average fire season. Leaving an excessive amount of deadwood in forests increases the amount of fuel available for a forest fire in warmer periods, thereby allowing for rapid spread of such fires.
Some deadwood certainly needs to be left inside forests to protect biodiversity, as already legally mandated by national law and existing provisions in the Renewable Energy Directive. There is a reason why forest policy is directly managed by Member States and not at the EU level: a spruce forest in Finland will have different needs from a beech forest in Poland or a mixed forest in Spain. Determining a one-size-fits-all approach at the European level vastly underestimates the level of diversity in forest resources that we have in Europe.