Location

Main issues must be clearly stated

The European Environment Agency(EEA) report entitled 'The European biomass puzzle: challenges, opportunities and trade-offs around biomass production and use in the EU' analyzes how biomass can contribute to achieving climate and environmental objectives, and how climate change could affect EU biomass production in the agricultural and forestry sectors. It also analyzes key synergies and trade-offs in the use of biomass for different policy objectives.

Location:

Europe

Main facts/points outlined in body of text

  • There are growing and competing demands for the use of biomass in the EU, using it for bio-based products in sectors such as construction, energy, transport, furniture and textile industries, but also reserving it for nature conservation and carbon sequestration.
  • This report highlights that there is an urgent need to prioritize the uses of biomass due to the different functions envisaged for biomass in the European Green Pact and the potential shortage of biomass supply in the future.
  • The EEA report shows a key challenge is that EU policy objectives have competing demands for European biomass from agriculture and forestry, while its supply remains constrained by land area, vegetation growth, climate change and global trade.
  • It further highlights that there is an urgent need to make decisions on biomass management in Europe to meet environmental and climate targets for 2030 and 2050.
  • Certain decisions need to be taken to reverse negative trends in ecosystem health, as well as to increase carbon sinks to meet climate targets.
  • To achieve results by 2030 and 2050, according to the report, policy interventions on land management, especially those affecting forests and agriculture, are already needed.
  • The policy responses put forward by the EEA report include specifying how nature protection and carbon sequestration can be combined with biomass production, ensuring that increased biomass use does not lead to unsustainable practices in the EU and abroad, and enhancing a more circular and cascading use of biomass.
  • For all this, an assessment needs to be made on which biomass feedstocks and products should be prioritized and for which purposes, taking into account economic and social costs and environmental and climate impacts.