Europe Rethinks Its Reliance on Burning Wood for Electricity

By Lois Parshley
The New York Times
May 17, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Europe’s power plants have slashed their use of coal by burning… millions of tons of wood, much of it imported from the US. A controversial European Union policy called the Renewable Energy Directive drove this transition by counting biomass as renewable energy. …But critics have long argued that the subsidies actually have few climate benefits and should be scrapped. Late Tuesday in Brussels, a committee of the European Parliament voted to make substantial changes to both how the union subsidizes biomass, and how it counts emissions from burning it — policies with major consequences if passed by the full Parliament. …This would encourage the use of industrial waste, like scraps or sawdust, rather than unprocessed wood. …A coalition of 10 European Union member states, say the amendments risked Europe’s ability to achieve its pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. [to access the full story a NYT subscription may be required]

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