Why LULUCF cannot ensure that bioenergy reduces emissions

The European Commission is currently reviewing the sustainability of uses and sources of bioenergy for the period after 2020. The Commission will also propose a new policy on how to include the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector in the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework.

The policy brief, endorsed by several NGOs, presents the problems of relying on LULUCF to ensure bioenergy reduces carbon emissions. It shows that the assumption that emissions from biomass harvests are fully accounted for in the LULUCF sector comes with large caveats. More importantly, the incentives and burden of proof for emission reductions should be put on the energy producer, rather than on the land sector.

We recommend that the EU strengthens the LULUCF policy, and adopts additional measures in a sustainability policy for bioenergy to ensure only bioenergy that truly delivers greenhouse gas emission savings is promoted. These measures should include:

·         A cap on the amount of bioenergy that can be counted towards 2030 renewable energy and climate targets

·         The exclusion of high risk biomass sources, such as crops from agricultural land and roundwood

 

·         A minimum threshold for the efficiency of energy production systems