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Barking - European wood subsidies
Apr 10, 2013

An article in The Economist puts the focus on the European aim to meet 20% of its energy demands from renewable resources by 2020. The article questions whether the subsidies for biomass energy will achieve their aim to reduce carbon emissions, and discusses the effects the policy is having on other parts of the forest sector - e.g. pushing up timber prices. The article highlights a 2011 statement from Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency - It is widely assumed that biomass combustion would be inherently carbon neutral because it only releases carbon taken from the atmosphere during plant growth. However, this assumption is not correct and results in a form of double-counting, as it ignores the fact that using land to produce plants for energy typically means that this land is not producing plants for other purposes, including carbon otherwise sequestered.

Wood - the fuel of the future. Environmental lunacy in Europe The Economist, 6 April 2013.

EEA Scientific Committee Opinion on Greenhouse Gas Accounting in Relation to Bioenergy - 15 September 2011