What role biomass must play when it comes to reducing fossile carbon dioxide emissions is one of the major issues in the coming years. Today there is no clear consensus in the scientific community, which makes it difficult for politicians and other decision makers. Göran Berndes at Chalmers is the lead author of a new report which provides insights into the current scientific debate to give a balanced and policy-relevant synthesis.
The Paris Agreement and the EU Climate and Energy Framework set ambitious but necessary targets. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by phasing out the technologies and infrastructures that cause fossil carbon emissions is one of today’s most important challenges. In the EU, bioenergy is currently the largest renewable energy source used.
In recent years, the issue of ‘carbon neutrality’ has been debated with regard to the bioenergy products that are produced from forest biomass. There is no clear consensus among scientists on the issue and their messages may even appear contradictory to decision-makers and citizens.
This report provides insights into the current scientific debate on forest biomass, carbon neutrality and climate change mitigation. It draws on the science literature to give a balanced and policy-relevant synthesis, from both an EU and global perspective.
Assessing GHG balances and the climate effects of forest bioenergy is essential för informed policy development and implementation. The report also states that it is critical that policies and regulations create a situation where the promotion of bioenergy products and other non-fossil energy options leads to fossil fuels displacementrather than competition among non-fossil options.