EU’s renewable energy-from-wood strategy “makes no sense”

Published: 13 Sep 2018 By Grace Kimberley

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Top climate scientists have expressed deep concern over the EU’s decision to use wood as a renewable energy source, claiming the move will not only increase greenhouse gas emissions, but also destroy some of the world’s most historical forests.

Additionally, forests absorb CO2 emissions from the atmosphere and therefore, play an important part in the fight against climate change.

Hundreds of scientists warned the EU officials about their concerns, but the EU went ahead with its plans to use wood as a low-carbon fuel.

This strategy is expected to double Europe’s use of renewable energy by 2030, and the EU plans to plant new trees to replace the forests that have been abolished.

However, according to an article in the Nature Communications journal, there are some flaws in this idea, as it can take many years for infant trees to intake the amount of CO2 emissions that have been released.

The scientists believe greenhouse gas emissions could increase by up to 10 per cent if the wood strategy is executed.

“Treating wood as a carbon-neutral fuel is a simple policy decision with complex cascading effects on forest use, energy systems, wood trade and biodiversity worldwide,” said Professor Eric Lambin, a researcher at Stanford University and one of the paper’s authors.

“Clearly, many of these effects have not received due attention.”

 

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