Brussels, 04 March 2020 - Bioenergy Europe welcomes the European Climate Law enshrining the objective of climate neutrality by 2050 into law. Yet, a higher ambition and greater detail on the trajectory towards net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is crucial to achieve this objective.

As reflected in a letter co-signed with several other European stakeholders, Bioenergy Europe supports the highest level of ambition for 2030 targets. The proposal of limiting the GHG emission reduction target within a range of 50 and 55% risks of falling short in achieving this critical milestone. A 55% - at the very least - GHG emission reduction compared to 1990 levels is desirable.

The European Commission role reviewing the targets via delegated act is aligned with the transboundary dimension of climate policy. However, this process should be carried coherently to ensure a stable framework for stakeholders and bringing clarity to investors. Accordingly, Bioenergy Europe seconds the letter from 12 EU governments[1] to Executive Vice-president Frans Timmermans to anticipate the deadline for setting up this trajectory from September to June 2020. This will allow a better analysis and will increase predictability and confidence.

In 2017, energy[2] was responsible for 78% of the EU GHG emissions[3]. This fundamental aspect appears to be largely overlooked in the European Climate Law. In view of the EU’s legislation assessment and review exercises that will be carried in 2021, Bioenergy Europe reiterates that increased share of renewables in the energy mix is crucial to concretely reduce GHG emissions. This must include a specific and binding target for heating and cooling, considering it is responsible for around 30% of the EU total GHG emissions[4].

In 2017, bioenergy allowed to save around 7% of the EU28 GHG emissions (303 MtCO2 eq) but we need more ambitious targets. Bioenergy not only provides renewable, carbon-neutral, local and non-intermittent energy, but also an economic driver for carbon absorption and adaptation through afforestation, sustainable forest management and dedicated crops. 

Jean-Marc Jossart, Bioenergy Europe Secretary-General, said: “the European Climate Law is a key milestone of a long journey that requires concrete actions and ambitious trajectories, acknowledging the fact that climate neutrality is only possible with a transition to renewable energy sources”.

[1] Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden

[2] production and final consumption

[3] Including energy production, fuel consumption and transport

[4] Heating and cooling for industrial uses 23%, buildings 9%, being 2/3 heating and cooling. See Bioenergy Europe Statistical Report 2019 – Bioenergy Landscape p. 37.

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