Bioenergy laid bare: fuelling climate change, fuelling hunger

  • 06/10/2017
  • WWF

The bioenergy industry has successfully portrayed itself to the EU as a sustainable, renewable energy solution, leading to a vast expansion in the use of biofuels and other types of bioenergy. This in turn has resulted in the EU transport sector guzzling food crops from millions of hectares of land, increases in food prices, deforestation and land grabs. It has led to the rest of the energy sector driving forest logging just to burn trees for energy. There is compelling scientific evidence that many of the types of bioenergy incentivised within the EU either offer no carbon benefits over the fossil alternative or are actually counterproductive in climate terms. The EU’s existing renewable energy and climate policies lack any meaningful sustainability criteria for bioenergy, with disastrous results. And all of this with billions of Euros of subsidies. The benefits to the industry of continuing the current policy until 2030 are obvious. For the climate, the environment, forests, global food security and Europe’s own sustainable development, however, business as usual would be disastrous. MEPs have a chance to stop this madness when they vote on the Eickhout report in the 2030 climate and energy package. They must correct the completely inadequate proposals from the European Commission, resist the pressure from the industry and vote for rules that ensure bioenergy finally does more good than harm. This joint paper presents the position of WWF, Birdlife, Oxfam, Transport & Environment, Fern, and Zero Waste Europe on the EU bioenergy proposal.